Charming Disaster is a songwriting and performance duo formed by musicians Ellia Bisker (of Sweet Soubrette and Funkrust Brass Band) and Jeff Morris (of Kotorino) in 2012. Inspired by the gothic humor of Edward Gorey and Tim Burton, the noir storytelling of Raymond Chandler, the stylish aesthetic of French new wave film, the murder ballads of the Americana tradition, and the dramatic flair of the cabaret, they write songs that tell stories – exploring themes like love, death, crime, ancient mythology, and the paranormal.

Their song “Ghost Story” was featured on the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, and they were awarded “best closing credits music” by the 2016 Garden State Film Festival for their song “Right Words to Say” (featured in the short film Mary and Louise). They released their debut album, Love, Crime & Other Trouble, in 2015, and their second album, Cautionary Tales, will be released in spring 2017.

Many of the songs on Cautionary Tales were created in February 2015, when the duo spent two weeks holed up in an isolated cabin in the snowy woods of northern Michigan. Cautionary Tales expands on Charming Disaster’s spooky, offbeat universe of paranormal romance, circus and carnival characters, con artists, and Egyptian mythology with new songs of espionage, occult practices, supernatural creatures, and the end of the world as we know it. The album’s musical influences include traditional murder ballads, the duo collaborations of PJ Harvey and John Parish, and the folkier side of Led Zeppelin. Charming Disaster’s literary bent is also in evidence, with references to cult fantasy novels Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell and The Golden Compass as well as ancient lore from Greek and Norse mythology.

01) Sympathetic Magic
02) Snake Bit
03) Selene & Endymion
04) Phosphorescent Lilies
05) Ragnarok
06) Little Black Bird
07) Days Are Numbered
08) Infernal Soiree
09) What Remains
10) String Break Song

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