Jill Tracy brings you the holiday season's Night Music: a dark, evocative, and elegant netherworld that lurks within the shadow of Christmas. The San Francisco Chronicle has named singer / pianist / storyteller Tracy "the femme fatale for the thinking man." Enter this notorious, glorious realm and fall under her dark spell. All tracks previously unreleased.
NPR's All Things Considered: "Jill Tracy is utterly intriguing. She transports you into a magical world solely of her creation. LA Weekly: "the cult darling of the Underworld."
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 singer/pianist/storyteller and musical evocateur has garnered multiple awards and a passionate following for her eerie and beautiful cinematic music, sophisticated lyrics, old-world glamour, and curious passion for strange tales. She has seduced iconic admirers including Jello Biafra, Lydia Lunch, David J (Bauhaus), Clive Barker, and Lemony Snicket.
What happens when this notorious chanteuse applies her dark elegance to a Christmas album? 'Silver Smoke, Star of Night' happens! Jill Tracy's lavish, shadowy interpretation of some of the more haunting classic carols. Emotional, delicate, and textural, the music was recorded in completely organic, but grand fashion- from hand-held antique chimes, bells, toys, mallets, bamboo, metals, and drums by master percussionist Randy Odell; to the mysterious heartfelt strings of cult violinist Paul Mercer. The space, the breath, the huge dynamics of the recording add to its intensity and filmic aspect. This ambiance was a crucial factor for Jill Tracy who even sampled environments, including an abandoned stairwell at night, to create the reverb sound for her piano.
"I wanted listeners to lose themselves hypnotically within this music, but also honor and embrace the imagery," Tracy explains. "'We 3 Kings' begins with a veritable score of the Magi traveling far, in the black of night, laden with strange, exotic gifts. In fact, the lyrics for 'We 3 Kings' was a major part of the reason I wanted to do this album. The little-known verses are dark and gorgeous: Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume / breathes of life of gathering gloom / sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying / sealed in the stone-cold tomb. -- These are not songs merely to be sung, but tales to be told."
'Silver Smoke, Star of Night' includes the 16th century "Coventry Carol", (a mother's lament over King Herod's Massacre of the Innocents;) a nine-minute swoon-worthy "O Come O Come Emanuel" with sweeping violins, angular piano, and an almost noir jazz contrabass, a devastatingly beautiful piano vocal version of "What Child is This," and "Room 19," Jill Tracy's original ballad about a spirit haunting a run-down hotel room after his 1947 Christmas Eve suicide.
"This album has become one of my most empowering projects yet," Jill Tracy reveals. "And one I never imagined doing. That's what makes it utterly compelling."
'Silver Smoke, Star of Night' beckons away from the cheap holiday tinsel and phony cheer to reveal a more evocative sophisticated undercurrent. This is the season's Night Music Jill Tracy's glorious realm that lurks within the shadow of Christmas and will cast you under its spell.