Monday, January 28, 2013

"What's My Desire?" one of "22 Stellar Songs from 2012"

"What's My Desire?" made it onto Wicked Local's list of "22 Stellar Songs from 2012," and is in some excellent company. Luminaries on the list include the Beach Boys, Ben Folds Five, Gotye, M. Ward, and more. We're honored to be included in their ranks:

"'All my love letters are forged,' sings Ellia Bisker, one of a series of biting admissions on a lovely, lush single awash with strings and horns. The ukulele is just a bonus."


Friday, January 25, 2013

Fan Mail from Australia

The day after a big show there's always a little bit of postpartum depression. All that work and effort, and then the ephemeral thing you hustled for so hard is done. Even when the show was particularly glorious, the day after is challenging...especially when it's a very late night followed by an early morning back at the day job. But getting a random bit of heartfelt fan mail from a listener on the other side of the globe is a wonderful antidote:

Hi Ellia....

I am now home in Australia, and am playing your beautiful music at full volume through our little home which looks over Sydney Harbour....

Every time I listen to your haunting voice, and equally haunting lyrics, I am taken back to a cosy seat in the library of Shakespeare & Co. on a grey old Paris day.

I just wanted you to know that your music inspires me, and reminds me of a time in my life where I was genuinely 'living'.

Thank you.

Love Hayley

Monday, January 14, 2013


Last summer Sweet Soubrette released an EP called What's My Desire?. The title track was originally a Bushwick Book Club assignment based on Anais Nin's book Henry and June

We shot a music video for What's My Desire? in collaboration with photographer Emily Raw.

Emily sent a still image from the video shoot to Manuel Gonzales, a writer with whom she collaborates on a story project: every week she sends him a photograph she's taken and he writes a 1,000-word story based on the image. 

Manuel wrote this story, "Written."

Then Emily suggested we go around again.  So I wrote a new song based on Manuel's story.  It's called Charlatan.  Lyrics are below.  A live performance video is linked here, and we're getting ready to record it for the next album.

Emily shot a new photograph based on the song.  Now it's Manuel's turn again.  We could go on like this forever.

Read more about this collaboration here.


Here is how it works
Her brother brings them in
She doesn’t know where it comes from
She doesn’t care if it is true
She doesn’t know where it comes from
She doesn’t care
If it is true

Pale was too pale when she put the powder on
The marks suspected
People think she traffics in banalities
She keeps collected
Is the kid who’s selling Coca-Cola
In her spiderweb
Or is she blowing smoke
Are her predictions just a joke

Before they even step inside
She starts to write
She doesn’t know what it all means
She reads it to them anyway
She doesn’t know what it all means
She reads it to
Them anyway

She knows who they long to hear from
What they long for her to tell
Is she getting secret signals
Are they suckers for the sell
All her tales of fame and fortune
Of tragedy and pain
How does how does she do it
It’s a fascinating game

They think it’s a scam
But she’s no charlatan
She writes until there’s nothing left
She cannot stop till she is done
She writes until there’s nothing left
She cannot stop
Till she is done
She cannot stop
Till she is done