Bliss Blood & Al Street EVANESCENT

by Bliss Blood

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Bliss Blood and Al Street’s "Evanescent": One of the Year’s Best Albums

lucidculture.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/bliss/

It’s always cool when a great artist decides to give away free tracks. When those tracks are among that artist’s best ever, it’s time to get busy downloading. Bliss Blood – New York’s reigning goddess of retro – decided to put the debut album "Evanescent" by her new duo project with guitarist Al Street, up at Reverbnation as a free download. Her Hawaiian swing crew the Moonlighters may be iconic among NYC artists, but they’re only her best-known group: in the last ten years, she’s also sung straight-up swing jazz, creepy cinematic noir songs, and barrelhouse blues (and S&M punk rock, if you count her teenage band the Pain Teens from the early 90s). But this flamenco-tinged unit with just ukulele, acoustic guitar, Blood’s lush, velvet vocals and a ton of reverb that amps up the lurid factor, may be her best yet. The joke here is that this music is actually the furthest thing from evanescent – it lingers and haunts. Blood has never sung better – the Moonlighters’ harmonies range from sensual to chirpy, but here Blood runs deep and dark with an unexpected gravitas and also a sultry allure that beats anything the Moonlighters have done – and they’re a great band.

The first track, Swallow the Dice, sets the stage, low-lit in red: it’s a menacing flamenco waltz, a defiantly metaphorical tribute to beating the system. Likewise, the steadily pulsing Liplock mines a series of double entendres, some of them ironic: play your cards too close to the vest and risk losing everything. Bulletproof is absolutely gorgeous, seductively bittersweet, all too aware of how invulnerability can be a double-edged sword:



Impervious to pain

I dream undaunted

Until I’m wanted and flaunted again

a bad bargain, maybe

I made it, unflinching

I keep it, bewitching

And blindly I see

It’s a barrier around me

Makes me bulletproof

Nothing can touch me

No one but you



The strongest track, lyrically at least, is Blackwater, a blistering broadside originally done by Blood’s “crime jazz” band Nightcall during the waning days of the Bush regime when mercenaries in Iraq were slaughering civilians left and right. Here it’s reinvented with a sarcastic rockabilly shuffle rhythm as Blood rails against the conscience-less cynicism of the soldiers of fortune who think nothing of “blood spilled on the sand.” The sultriest track is The Palace of the Wind, its Dr. Zhivago ambience lush and pensive over Street’s agile broken chords. With just ukulele, bells and vocals for most of it, Butterfly Collector wouldn’t be out of place in an early 60s Henry Mancini soundtrack. There’s also the torch-y, Freudian Legend of a Crime; the brisk, galloping Ella Es el Matador, the give-and-take of a hookup explained as a bullfight; the echoey, pillowy, sad guitar-and-vocalese instrumental Firefly, and the sly, reggae-tinged come-on Your Mayhem.

credits

released December 3, 2012

Bliss Blood, vocal, ukulele, lyrics, songwriting
Al Street, guitar, percussion, songwriting

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Bliss Blood Brooklyn, New York

Bliss Blood is a songwriter and vocalist who lives in Brooklyn.

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Track Name: Legend of a Crime
Legend of a Crime
by Bliss Blood

Cuchillero malo, your blade is strong
Your heart is merciless, unbending, unbreaking
You have torn my soul, crushed my softness,
Slashed my heart, quelled my defiance,
but still my heart beats, still my blood flows,
still my mind races, craving your blade again.

Cuchillero malo, your blade is deadly
You pierced me to the quick, again and again
You have raised me up, dashed me down
In your whirlwind of shifting shadows,
but still my heart beats, still my blood flows,
still my mind races, craving your blade again.

Cuchillero malo, your blade is sharp
You gleam like a fire, but your eyes are in shadow
You have burned the words, broken the silence
Summoned me to you, and then you are gone,
but still my heart beats, still my blood flows,
still my mind races, craving your blade again.
Track Name: Bulletproof
BULLETPROOF
lyrics by Bliss Blood

Impervious to pain, I dream, undaunted,
until I'm wanted and flaunted again.
A bad bargain, maybe; I made it unflinching,
I keep it, bewitching, and blindly I see.

It's a barrier around me, makes me bulletproof,
Nothing can touch me, no one but you.
No arrows have found me, I'm bulletproof.
Only one single way to get through, You.

They're all lining up to sample my beauty,
I make it my duty to stay satisfied.
But somehow it's never enough to be clever,
I said what I wanted -- but maybe I lied.

It's a barrier around me, makes me bulletproof,
Nothing can touch me, no one but you.
No arrows have found me, I'm bulletproof.
Only one single way to get through, You.
Track Name: Swallow the Dice
SWALLOW THE DICE
lyrics by Bliss Blood

In the glittering den of iniquity's chance
All the tuxes lined up for a diamond a dance
They lay down on the table their stakes to tempt fate
Take a leap in the dark, standing pat for the take.
Sparkling jewels that cast back the light
Run the risk of transfixing one sport for the night,
When the doors are flung open by the heat of the Vice
Then smiling, so willing, I swallow the dice.

The wheel's set to spinning their fortunes away
and the boys buck the tiger at faro's parlay
Try the chance, set at hazard, draw lots if you dare
When the house clears the table, be devil-may-care.
Gaze at the cardsharps and venturers bold
With their vague desperation as their luck becomes cold,
When the doors are flung open by the heat of the Vice
Then smiling, so willing, I swallow the dice.

Wagerer, punter, hazarding man,
Knight of the elbow, risk it all while you can,
The dice box smoking hot, and the kitty so sweet
Straddle up to the table and soak in the heat.
Hundred to one, and the jackpot is fine,
Speculate for a moment upon this gold mine,
When the doors are flung open by the heat of the Vice
Then smiling, so willing, I swallow the dice.
Track Name: Butterfly Collector
Butterfly Collector
by Bliss Blood

Carelessly fluttering on a fragment of breeze
Drifted into a shadow, a web of release
Glowing, so intricate, shuddering wings
Pulsating, throbbing, symmetrical stings.

Immobile fluttering, wrists in your hands,
Burning with narrowed eyes, wordless demands,
Wings to the page, pinned to the core,
Butterfly clutching, and melting your power.
Track Name: Your Mayhem
YOUR MAYHEM
lyrics by Bliss Blood

Your mayhem, feels so real
Your mayhem, burns it down
Your mayhem, makes me hum
For mayhem, makes me tick.
Don't slow down, it won't wait
Don't burn down, let's be late
Don't make me, I won't resist
Just take me, I insist.

Our mayhem, smiling game
Our mayhem, laughing fall
Our mayhem, turbo drive
Our mayhem, liquid fire.
Don't slow down, it won't wait
Don't burn down, let's be late
Don't make me, I won't resist
Just take me, I insist.
Track Name: Palace of the Wind
PALACE OF THE WIND
lyrics by Bliss Blood

I'm delirious, like the wind in the trees,
and the stars in the clouds, in the hall of the breeze.
You are ecstasy, and I melt i the air
But perfection's a tease, never here, never there.
Cross the bridge of sighs, on the wind of the stars,
On the breeze of delights, all the sighs will be ours.

In my charm-struck dreams, you possess in a gale,
Fascinate like the gleams of the moonbeams so pale,
You enraptured there, with a passing caress,
Never here, never there, only left with a guess.
Cross the bridge of sighs, on the wind of the stars,
On the breeze of delights, all the sighs will be ours.

You may pass me by, like the breath of the breeze,
Murmuring past my ear, you may fly as you please,
For the unchained winds are as free as the air,
Yearning only to breath, never here, never there.
Cross the bridge of sighs, on the wind of the stars,
On the breeze of delights, all the sighs will be ours.

Mesmerizing wind, wafting cat's-paw touch,
Oh my wish-giving friend, in the dream-light's clutch,
I await your breath, to refresh me again,
Never here, never there, in the Palace of the Wind.
Cross the bridge of sighs, on the wind of the stars,
On the breeze of delights, all the sighs will be ours.
Track Name: Liplock
LIPLOCK
lyrics by Bliss Blood

Of human bondage this man could tell a tale
In chains to someone who was like a vapor trail
He longed to tell her but the words were never near
A fortress built of longing she would never hear.

Don't break your liplock
keep your words where they belong
If they're unspoken they can never do you wrong
Lips locked in passion cannot help but be discreet
Don't break your liplock
and our hearts will never meet.

Adoring passion such an easy thing to show
But when you name it, there is nothing left to know
So keep it hidden, in the shadows let it grow
Secure it in your soul so it can never go.

Don't break your liplock
keep your words where they belong
If they're unspoken they can never do you wrong
Lips locked in passion cannot help but be discreet
Don't break your liplock
and our hearts will never meet.
Track Name: Black Water
BLACK WATER
lyrics by Bliss Blood

Don't look too closely or you'll find
he has a mercenary mind
He'll be your man if you can pay.
And when the gold is in his hand
he'll acquiesce to your command
play any game you want to play.

And if it all gets out of hand,
he's right there with a charming smile
and if there's blood spilled on the sand
A minor incident won't disrupt his style.

He'll never leave you feeling down
So glad to know that he's around
No job's too dirty or too cold.
He'll handle everything with ease
No questions asked, he's bound to please
His loyalty is bought and sold.

And if it all gets out of hand,
he's right there with a charming smile
and if there's blood spilled on the sand
A minor incident won't disrupt his style.

Anything that you ask, he'll do for you
Anyone you want lost, he'll lose
Rumor has it that there's no blood
Blood inside, side his veins --
Black water flows instead of blood.
Track Name: Ella Es El Matador
ELLA ES EL MATADOR
lyrics by Bliss Blood

Kiss in the ring, now let it start
Lord of my dreams, charging my heart
He is so fierce, smells my self-doubt
My suit of lights, put the lights out.
Gored by the bull, heart-kiss the horn
Thorn of undoing, sinking, undone
Eternal weight, thrust to the core
Swimming too late, sweet hilted gore.

Pulsating kiss gripped deep inside
Never relent, heart-throbbing ride
Sword gleams unbrandished, final protest
Sinking unvanquished into sweet rest.

Now the retreat, battered and doomed
Bullfighter's strength seeps from the wound
Now let us fall, now let us part,
Shot like an arrow straight to my heart.
Gored by the bull, heart-kiss the horn
Thorn of undoing, sinking, undone
Eternal weight, thrust to the core
Swimming too late, sweet hilted gore.