About Charming Disaster

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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

Brooklyn-based musical duo Charming Disaster was 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, using two voices to explore dark narratives and characters with a playful sensibility.

In their critically acclaimed albums Love, Crime & Other Trouble (2015) and Cautionary Tales (2017), Charming Disaster has explored themes like love, death, crime, myth and folklore, and the supernatural. In their theatrical live performances, they combine vocal harmonies and clever lyrics with ukulele, guitar, and virtuosic foot percussion, drawing listeners into an offbeat universe of paranormal romance, con artists, circus performers, and ancient mythology. They have toured around the United States, playing club venues, festivals, and cultural institutions; recent performances include Joe's Pub at The Public Theater in NYC, Brooklyn’s historic Green-Wood Cemetery, the North Carolina Museum of Art, and the Poe Museum in Richmond, VA.

Their song “Ghost Story” was featured on the hit podcast Welcome to Night Vale and appears on Love, Crime & Other Trouble. Charming Disaster’s latest album, Cautionary Tales, expands on the duo’s spooky, offbeat universe with songs about espionage, occult practices, supernatural creatures, and the end of the world as we know it, with references to cult fantasy novels and ancient lore from Greek and Norse mythology.

Their third album, SPELLS + RITUALS, will be released on June 7, 2019.








Live Performances

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. And it certainly is!
— 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 sound like the music that Pugsley and Wednesday Addams might have made after listening to the Decemberists, Squeeze and some Chopin.”
— Yes! Weekly
Gothic folk murder balladry, not unlike PJ Harvey at her most ornate. But there’s an accessibility and pop sensibility that also nods to the likes of Andrew Bird or Regina Spektor. It’s darkness cut with a melodic immediacy...a thing of fanciful beauty.
— Treble
Heavily melodic folk music that is goth as hell.
— Impose
Playfully macabre.
— Cleveland Scene
The perfect balance of fun and frightening storytelling.
— The Ruckus

Selected Previous venues

Amnesia (San Francisco, CA)

Barbes (Brooklyn, NY)

Brewstation (Cottage Grove, OR)

Burdock (Toronto, ON)

Castle Clinton National Monument (NYC)

City Reliquary Museum (Brooklyn, NY)

Crow & Quill (Asheville, NC)

Dixon Place (NYC)

Dream Away Lodge (Becket, MA)

The Drifter (Chicago, IL)

Euclid Tavern (Cleveland, OH)

Fallout (Richmond, VA)

Friends & Lovers (Brooklyn, NY)

Good Goat Gallery (Cleveland, OH)

Green-Wood Cemetery (Brooklyn, NY)

Hotel Albatross (Seattle, WA)

Jalopy Theatre (Brooklyn, NY)

Joe's Pub at the Public Theater (NYC)

Lizard Lounge (Cambridge, MA)

Manderley Bar at the McKittrick Hotel (NYC)

North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh, NC)

Octopus Literary Salon (Oakland, CA)

Oriental Theater (Denver, CO)

Owl Music Parlor (Brooklyn, NY)

Pete's Candy Store (Brooklyn, NY)

Pine Box Rock Shop (Brooklyn, NY)

Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse

Poe Museum (Richmond, VA)

Polish and Slavic Center (Brooklyn, NY)

Radio Bean (Burlington, VT)

Rockwood Music Hall (NYC)

The Rosenbach Museum (Philadelphia, PA)

Rough Draft Bar & Books (Kingston, NY)

Rough Trade NYC (Brooklyn, NY)

Secret Society (Portland, OR)

Slipper Room (NYC)

Spirit Room (Rochester, NY)

Syntax Physic Opera (Denver, CO)

Tellus360 (Lancaster, PA)

Watts & Ward (Raleigh, NC)

Way Station (Brooklyn, NY)