Jill Tracy will transport you into a seductive and magical realm far beyond the Everyday. The place where we wished we lived. A dark, elegant netherworld full of hidden passageways, wonder cabinets and opium dens. Of monsters, marvels and mayhem, you know it’s not safe here; but with Jill Tracy as your guide, you’ll be in no hurry to leave.
The San Francisco-based artist has garnered multiple awards and a devoted following for her evocative cinematic music, sophisticated lyrics, old-world glamour, and curious passion for strange tales. Hailed by critics as a “femme fatale for the thinking man,” Jill Tracy was described by NPR’s All Things Considered as “utterly intriguing… luring you into a magical kingdom solely of her creation.” LA Weekly calls her “very distinctive and exciting.”
As a youngster, Jill Tracy was drawn to classic suspense, film noir, and horror movie scores, which she cites today as some of her strongest influences. These passions are evident in her unusually cinematic performance style. Virtually self taught, her singular blend of dark, dreamy flourishes, hypnotic grooves and classical-cum-parlour piano conjures up shades of another era, but at the same time, the sound is shockingly new. She is as much Nick Cave as she is Erik Satie. As much David Bowie as she is Mata Hari. As much Bernard Herrmann as she is Robert Smith of The Cure.
Backed by an alluring panoply of strings, woodwinds, drums and percussion, (Tracy affectionately refers to them as The Malcontent Orchestra) songs from her previous album Diabolical Streak have appeared in movies and compilations, in addition to winning the SIBL international grand prize for songwriting, and two California Music Award nominations. The track “Evil Night Together” has not only been adopted as theme song for nouveau burlesque and bellydance troupes around the globe, but also is featured on Projekt’s A Dark Cabaret, the CBS hit TV show NAVY NCIS, the BBC series Jekyll, Lifetime Television, and numerous independent films.
Amidst Tracy’s trademark voice of cut-velvet smoke, she reveals a talent for making rather unsettling subjects remarkably alluring. Her music video for “The Fine Art of Poisoning,” (directed by Bay Area filmmaker Bill Domonkos) has won over 30 film festival awards nationally including Best Experimental Film in the New Orleans Film Festival as well as Best Music Video in the Chicago International Film Festival. With her forays into film scoring, filmmaking, writing, acting and theatre, Jill Tracy is redefining the image of modern day renaissance artist.
Her latest (and fourth) album, The Bittersweet Constrain, has a heavier, cinematic sonic edge with the addition of exotic instruments such as the sarod, harmonium, and seldom-seen Chapman Stick. The recording also features master percussionist Randy Odell, horn player Ralph Carney (Tom Waits/B52’s), cellist Erica Mulkey (Rasputina/Unwoman), and violinist Tony Cross (Tarentel). Produced by Alex Nahas (John Vanderslice/Zoe Keating/LaughingStock), The Bittersweet Constrain has been described by the press as “devastatingly beautiful.”
Domonkos served as art director/graphic designer for The Bittersweet Constrain. The CD packaging features Jill Tracy portraiture by acclaimed surrealist photographer Michael Garlington, known for his dreamy macabre imagery shot on vintage film stock.