SPELLS + RITUALS

by Charming Disaster

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Also includes an electronic edition of the lyrics book, featuring gorgeous original artwork by Magda Boreysza for each song. Ghosts, elementals, and other noncorporeal entities can easily read along! Includes both pdf and epub formats.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    The new album in compact disc form, a physical object convenient for display and/or playing in your car.

    Includes unlimited streaming of SPELLS + RITUALS via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    The new album in high quality 12" vinyl LP format, lovingly manufactured at Furnace Pressing in Alexandria, VA. Full-color jacket, label art by Magda Boreysza. Limited edition.

    Includes unlimited streaming of SPELLS + RITUALS via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      $20 USD or more 

     

1.
My blacksnake and my donkey keep the predators at bay The coyotes and the copperheads stay well enough away The power that protects me is a circle made of salt But when you come to get me I won’t feel a thing at all The vultures that surround me ride the thermals up on high Yeah ever since you found me I’m afraid that I might die The scarab on my pillow whispers vespers as I sleep You saved me from the sparrows now my soul is yours to keep Come morning we awaken to a garnet colored sky The mirror cracked and broken making exes of my eyes Can't turn away the darkness so instead I hold you tight Yeah ever since you found me I’m afraid that I might die CHORUS: Light the fire Sing the song Hit the high hat Kick the drum Secret language On the tongue Something wicked This way comes There’s a light without any heat It shines just for me my love Shines just for me There’s a night without a moon It comes just for you my love Comes just for you Heat haze on the highway there’s a shimmer in the air Out on the horizon there’s a figure standing there Strange hallucinations as the sky is growing thin From the corners of my vision see the shadows closing in Is it just sleep deprivation or the ergot on the rye Yeah ever since you found me I’m afraid that I might die
2.
Wishing Well 04:09
Farewell wishing well, I've said what's on my mind There's no more to tell, but take another dime I must be moving on Now that shadows grow long I never was the superstitious kind What is this waking me down in the deep Voice like a silver coin rings in my sleep Don't be so hasty no don't turn your back I could deliver you all that you ask CHORUS: We’ve done all we can do all by ourselves Everybody needs a little help Stuck in place, it's been so long A little push will keep us going What sweet melody echoes soft and low No one here but me yet I am not alone Did I wake up in a dream That's no reflection I see Swimming in the water down below Begging your pardon I know what you wish Let's make a bargain and both benefit So much ambition and I hold the key My proposition is Down in the wishing well (Chorus) Black hair, skin so fair, eyes of jaded green A beauty with an emerald stare so hungry and so sweet How can I be sure Such a slippery creature Will keep her fishy promises to me Treasures and riches and servants and silks Power to bend all the world to your will Glory or love or whatever you seek I’ll grant your wishes Down in the wishing well Come in the water / Fall in the water Come swim in the water / Deep dark cold water Down in the wishing well / Way down in the wishing well (Chorus) Farewell wishing well, I leave you with this song I’m free from the spell that held me for so long Is it such a wicked thing For one who would be king To grant dominion of this wet abode Ten thousand gods damn you I was such a fool Snared by your serpent tongue, trapped in this pool I swear by the sky that’s now ringed by these stones Misfortune will find you Down in the wishing well Down in the wishing well Down in the wishing well Down in the wishing well
3.
Baba Yaga 02:52
Have you seen it in the glen Her cottage up on chicken legs Better hope that she ain’t home She'll suck the marrow from your bones Sweet old lady she is not Stick you in her stewing pot CHORUS: Baba Yaga Oooh Baba Yaga Ahhh Wise old crone or wicked witch Got a broom of silver birch She might give you what you need Amanita, poppy seed Sweep away all trace or track You don’t want her coming back (Chorus) Country girls and merchants’ sons What’s the reason you have come By compulsion or free will Or brought here by my spinning wheel Seeking apples made of gold Ask my sister she would know (Chorus) Turn her comb into a forest When it’s time for you to flee Her kerchief to a river Her mirror to the sea With her mortar & her pestle She will follow close behind You are spinning on her spindle She’ll unravel you in time Lives behind a fence of skulls There’s still room for just one more Served by disembodied hands Mistress of the borderlands Bony leg and iron teeth Give her something good to eat Baba Yaga Oooh Baba Yaga Ahhh Baba Yaga Ha ha ha ha ha ha Baba Yaga Baba Yaga Baba Yaga Baba Yaga
4.
The devil can run, the devil can hide In the tiny details or the morning sky The devil’s a star and he’s got a new band He plays the guitar with his idle hands The devil is bored in the deep blue sea He’s got my number and he’s calling me There’s nothing to say so we talk of old times When he had his wings and I had mine CHORUS: Take it from me, cause I ought to know You got a right to get in trouble Freedom to rise, freedom to fall You got a right to get in trouble The devil you love is the devil you knew The devil you know is an empty suit Nobody to tempt and nobody to save Just predestination and DNA The devil can't help, though the devil may care The devil makes three when we’re standing here The devil can deal any hand you choose Damned if you don't, damned if you do (Chorus) The devil's at work and he's gotta stay late Heaven's a nightmare and hell can wait All the red tape, oh what's it all for Nothing makes sense to him anymore One of these days when it all goes black He'll take a vacation and not come back Lie on the beach and work on his tan Write all our names on a grain of sand (Chorus)
5.
Pine pitch, turpentine Don't drink poison, baby, better drink wine Solvent, acetone Mind you mark the bottle with a skull and bones CHORUS: You got the blue bottle blues When you wake up in the night Don't make a big mistake Cause you can never make it right When you reach out for the vial Feel the ridges in the glass It's a matter of survival Better watch your back Powder, arsenic Spoonful in your cocoa gonna make you sick Strychnine, cyanide Keeps on getting harder simply staying alive (Chorus) When it's time for you to go Like Juliet or Romeo There is something you should know There is no, no antidote There is no, no antidote Bootleg alcohol Toxic or intoxicating, who can tell Morphine, rest your head What was that precaution that the doctor said? Almond, bitter taste Swallow down your medicine it leaves no trace Foul play, accident Watch out for your loved ones and your careless self (Chorus) There is no, no antidote...
6.
In the dirigible’s gondola, the clouds fog up your monocle You wipe it with a handkerchief embroidered with a monogram Looking for lost continents, you’d better check your pocket watch We won’t be home for luncheon but they’ll keep the platters warm CHORUS: Not as pure as gold (a captive of the scientist) Not as sharp as glass (he practiced his/her experiments) Not as strong as stone (flesh and blood will never last) My baby’s got a heart of brass Underneath the diving bell, return to the submersible Before the lonely nautilus can wrap you in its tentacles Moistening your handkerchief to polish your discoveries The needle of the compass doesn’t point to any north (Chorus) Quince paste laced with laudanum will get you through the tedium Of waiting to be rescued from inside the sanitarium The esoteric brotherhood suspect you’re up to nothing good The ampule in your handkerchief will put them all to sleep We’re all some kind of machine We’re only cogwheels, pistons and steam All of us powered by water and heat It makes our tick-tock hearts beat beat beat beat Beat beat beat beat beat beat beat beat The automaton forever sits, its hand upon the writing desk Gently grips a fountain pen that circumscribes an arabesque Deciphering the messages encrypted by the alchemist A handkerchief will wipe away the secrets that it keeps (Chorus) Floating down the Amazon, we wonder if we’ve gone too far and Plunge into the whirlpool at the basin of the waterfall Scribbling this chronicle, the fog clouds up your monocle A handkerchief can stopper up our message in a bottle We have left it gently bobbing on the surface of the water As we sail around the spiral into mystery or miracle Cry into your scry glass, inquire of your oracle Squint into your spyglass, you can see us wave farewell
7.
Keep Moving 02:50
Wake up somewhere different every morning But it all looks just the same Must be something special about this place But lord knows that we can’t stay Riding down the interstate All the signs they seem to say Keep moving keep moving keep moving keep moving Fast food chains and mini marts Strip malls and the parking lots CHORUS: Keep moving keep moving keep moving keep moving Keep moving keep moving keep moving keep moving Close your eyes and spin around in circles Till you can’t tell where you are If we run out of money honey We can always pawn that old guitar Static on the radio Headlights hit the open road Keep moving keep moving keep moving keep moving Where we heading, we don't know Wake me when we're getting close (Chorus) Ask yourself what are you running from And do you think that you can run forever If you find what you are looking for Would you stand still or would you still (Chorus) Some folks say the secret of redemption Is to understand your sin Someday we'll be ready When we finally turn that pawnshop ticket in If we go back home again Won't know how this story ends Keep moving keep moving keep moving keep moving Chase that double yellow line Devil can't be far behind (Chorus)
8.
Out my window, in the alley There’s a figure dressed in black On the nightstand lies a pistol And a letter sealed in wax Isabella, please indulge me rouse your self and pack your things Alexander, is he watching? Oh my darling let’s set sail tonight Under cover of the darkness Now or never get the horses Meet the captain at the tavern He’s a drunkard, can we trust him? I remember when my father In convulsions on his deathbed Pulled me closer, in a whisper Made me promise to avenge him Was it sickness? was it madness? Some disease that wracked his frame? Deadly poison from a dagger While defending his good name My god, could it be those very forces That are seeking our destruction Did he tell you any secrets? I have followed his instructions We are pawns in a game Of some deep dark design Pieces in play But the board is on fire Whose will is at work In this sinister plan Are we moved in the dark By mysterious hands? Waves are whipping, ship is tossing I can barely hear you speak Is the letter safely hidden? Would it be safer with me? Isabella, don’t be frightened We have left them in the distance We have proof that will destroy them Me and you the only witness Is that a shadow or the shape of Someone swimming in the water? Were we followed? Doesn’t matter Soon we’ll be across the channel We have parts in a play Of some deep dark design Thrust on the stage But the boards are on fire Caught in the plot Of a sinister plan Are we marionettes In mysterious hands? Crack of lightning splits the darkness Deck is listing hard to starboard Ship is sinking, where's the captain? In the lifeboat, we're abandoned For the last time, Alexander Isabella, please unhand me I must have that cursed letter Do you think I knew no better? You will never see that message Then you'll die here to protect it Mind the pistol Is it loaded? Let it go now hand it over Alexander, I am dying As my life blood flows from me Isabella will you tell me Who directs your treacherous deeds Oh my darling, ere I perish Please believe I loved you truly Was it Masons? Rosicrucians? Jesuits? Illuminati? Unseen powers in the shadows Never named but in a whisper Trade the secret for one last kiss... Belladonna on your lipstick We are trapped in a maze Of some deep dark design Seeking escape But the walls are on fire Who is to blame For this sinister plan The society of The mysterious hand
9.
Fire Eater 03:00
I don't remember the heat Or the smell of fuel, or being afraid Just the thrill of living through it Like letting a tiger lick my bared white throat After that I was hooked I learned how to extinguish the flame Or keep it lit inside me, made my body welcome The play of the torch across my skin CHORUS: I opened and let it in I opened and let it in I opened and let it in Opened and let it in Nothing I’d ever tried before Could satisfy my insatiable desire for more My heart nearly stopped The ambulance sang my name more times than once I needed danger’s rush Adrenaline to light me up That fight or flight all dancing in my blood And on my tongue like medicine (Chorus) Burn away clean Flicker and breathe The light and the heat Within me consuming So sweet is this thing Licking my fingers And whispering Open to me Ever since I first lowered the blazing Torch between my teeth It takes sriracha poured on everything I eat To make it hot enough for me It's all I need, my love My food and drink, religion and my drug The razor and glass, my trouble The bottle, the needle and spoon never sizzled so sweet as this thing (Chorus) So sweet is this thing Licking my fingers And whispering Open to me
10.
Be my bride of Frankenstein Girl I wanna make you mine I'll give you a shiny rock Zap you with electric shock I got an updo with a lightning bolt Come a little closer for a thousand volts I'm gonna love you though you're not so smart Say I do and I'll give you my monster heart Igor and the doctor said Someday son you'll still be dead Good woman is hard to find Make me one to make her mine I got an updo with a lightning bolt Come a little closer for a thousand volts I'm gonna love you though you're not so smart Say I do and I'll give you my monster heart Fire bad Fire bad Put away your pitchfork baby don't be mad Fire bad Fire bad Show me what you're doing in the doctor's lab Stitch you up and set you free Darling won't you marry me Promise till death do we part But for us that's just the start I got an updo with a lightning bolt Come a little closer for a thousand volts I'm gonna love you though you're not so smart Say I do and I'll give you my monster heart Say I do and I'll give you my monster heart Say I do and I'll give you my monster heart Say I do and I'll give you my monster heart
11.
Sirens wail Everywhere Don’t you worry worry baby Power’s out Twist and shout Let’s have a party party baby The lights have gone out This is what we talked about The sun’s turning red Grab the things you’ve prepared Get your coat Time to go You better hurry hurry baby You know where Meet me there Let’s have a party party baby There are no more rules We can start something new A kingdom of two Empty homes and swimming pools There’s no help Save yourself Take what you can carry carry baby Dance between The dead machines Let’s have a party party baby This is no drill It’s no dream, it’s all real Close your eyes, make a wish We’ve been waiting for this Oh the end of the world’s Not as bad as you’ve heard Just a kiss on the lips From a soft apocalypse

about

"Charming Disaster has an affinity for monsters, mortality, paranormal activity and unearthly shenanigans...The songs on Spells + Rituals create a dark, compelling mood, sparked by flashes of wry humor...The band’s literary lyrics, and melodies that reference music from all over the world, are designed to give listeners an emotionally and musically expansive evening." –Rock & Roll Globe

“Enchanting and disturbing…SPELLS + RITUALS blends very thoughtful and funny American Gothic imagery with myth-based musical alchemy…there is a great acoustic punk drive to the whole record which matches the potency of the macabre humor. Without the grinning skull inside the loveliness of the tunes, or the dark campy heart inside the weird tales and odes to misery, it wouldn’t all seem so magically in balance and so engaging.” –Big Takeover Magazine

“Each song is like a spell or ritual…with a little of the deadpan acoustic punk of Jonathan Richman, as well as the arch theatricality of Amanda Palmer.” –Eugene Weekly

"Charming Disaster balances smart pop songs against a confident stage presence, sort of a swagger, that suggest the two people out front are destined for great things...these people are overflowing with musical ideas that simply defy categorization." –The Vinyl Anachronist

credits

released June 7, 2019

Ellia Bisker: vocals, ukulele, piano, music box, glass jars, percussion
Jeff Morris: vocals, guitar, piano, ratchet set, canned air, percussion
Emily Geller: hand claps
Don Godwin: bass, drums, horns, backing vocals, percussion
Heather Cole: violin
Jessie Kilguss: harmonium
Patricia Santos: cello

All songs written and composed by Ellia Bisker & Jeff Morris.

Engineered & mixed by Don Godwin and mastered by Randy LeRoy at Tonal Park in Takoma Park, MD (except for the harmonium, recorded by Charlie Nieland Productions in Brooklyn, NY). Co-produced by Charming Disaster and Don Godwin.

Cover photo by Shervin Lainez. Lyrics book illustrations by Magda Boreysza. Graphic design by Jeff Morris.

Special thanks: Teresa Toro & Rolf Carle, Steve Ziger & Jamie Snead, Johny Weber, Corin Lines, Dame Darcy, Carolyn Stewart, Logan Riley

© 2019 Sweet Soubrette Songs / Klip Klap Music (ASCAP)
All rights reserved.

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Charming Disaster Brooklyn, New York

Charming Disaster is a musical duo based in Brooklyn, NY, formed in 2012 by Ellia Bisker and Jeff Morris. Inspired by the gothic humor of Edward Gorey and Tim Burton, the noir storytelling of Raymond Chandler, the murder ballads of the Americana tradition, and the dramatic flair of the cabaret, they write songs that tell stories about love, death, crime, ancient mythology, and the paranormal. ... more

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