About Charming Disaster

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On Cautionary Tales, Charming Disaster writes fables for the deconstruction…onstage, the duo has the same understated presence that makes its albums so compelling.
— Magnet

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.

 

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MUSIC VIDEOS

Live Performances

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

Joe's Pub at the Public Theater (NYC)
Rough Trade NYC (Brooklyn, NY)
Green-Wood Cemetery (Brooklyn, NY)
North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh, NC)
The Poe Museum (Richmond, VA)
Burdock (Toronto, ON)
The Spirit Room (Rochester, NY)
Happy Dog at the Euclid Tavern (Cleveland, OH)
Watts & Ward (Raleigh, NC)

Crow & Quill (Asheville, NC)
The Owl Music Parlor (Brooklyn, NY)
Barbes (Brooklyn, NY)
Dream Away Lodge (Becket, MA)
City Reliquary (Brooklyn, NY)
The Slipper Room (NYC)
The Oriental Theater (Denver, CO)
Manderley Bar at the McKittrick Hotel (NYC)
Rockwood Music Hall (NYC)

Pete's Candy Store (Brooklyn, NY)
Rough Draft Bar & Books (Kingston, NY)
Lizard Lounge (Cambridge, MA)
Radio Bean (Burlington, VT)
Syntax Physic Opera (Denver, CO)
The Way Station (Brooklyn, NY)
Friends & Lovers (Brooklyn, NY)
Jalopy Theatre (Brooklyn, NY)
Dixon Place (NYC)