Casualties

by Unwoman

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1.
Is she secretly on my side Does she know all the reasons I've cried And secretly still sing along The soundtrack of her life my songs (She always got the meanings wrong) She's my sororal doppelganger Following close like a phantom Loving my discards just to confuse me: Which of us holds the hand-me-downs? (Which of us wears the wedding gowns?) Now she wears my old life, the life I think she made On my competitive side she preyed Did she always picture herself in my place Now the darling's won the race (I wish that she could see my face) Does she remember the day we tried on white dresses The day she was my sister, before I was her confessor Now does she revel in victory Or is she plagued by the ghost of me? (Haunted by what she can not see)
2.
Cruelty 03:11
Each girl thinks she will be the one To love you despite all you do wrong Each time you make the same mistakes But so does she You think that to be a good person Means merely causing no one harm But since we're all responsible for ourselves It's impossible to fail My heart is wide open and I'll never give up hoping Not for your love, just for you to grow up Now there's one more thing you need to know Before the final curtains close It is cruel to look into a girl's eyes that way you looked in mine Unless you want her to fall in love with you It is cruel to want her to fall in love If you can't love her too (I know you can't love me too) Each girl I've told has been unsurprised They learned as I to avoid your eyes Now only knowing I can never win Would I fall in them again It is cruel to look into a girl's eyes that way you looked in mine Unless you want her to fall in love with you. It is cruel to want her to fall in love If you can't love her too (I know you can't love any of us too)
3.
Haunted 05:18
This must be the worst part of missing you I cry at a picture of me kissing you And I've forgotten just how you smell I only remember I loved it so well Oooh it's heavy Deep in my belly I picture your touch And know that you miss me this much I don't want to tell you that I am in love Because I'm still haunted But you're all I have to chase away my ghosts So you need to know, you're so wanted Oooh (etc) I can't play a note without those bitter times Entering unwelcome into my mind Time hasn't fixed it but there's hope yet When we make love I always forget Schadenfreude or sympathy? Coincidence or destiny? When we're together, you distract me Kisses and laughter attack completely But your image and voice are poor substitutes When all six senses of mine need you
4.
Habit 03:39
I've got that teenage feeling A whole lot of good it does me Part of the allure was I didn't know What I was getting into But I can't break the habit of you Though I say I want to Oh I need one more rendezvous -- then I'll quit This nasty habit of you You still haunt my mind with everything you said All the things you liked about me went to my head As we walked down the street eating ice cream With every bite it got harder to stop Oh, now I can't stop, I can't stop I can't stop And now I can't break the habit of you I need one more rendezvous Then I'll quit this habit of you I still need something to sink my teeth into I can't break the habit of you Oh I might say how much I want to
5.
The damage was done preemptively Blame the force of these memories Abstain all you want you can't shake your hold on me Though you won't call me -- you play it right Still my mind lingers in those nights And you don't have to try to twist that knife But if I look back I'll turn into a pillar of If I look back I'll turn into a pillar of If I look back I'll turn into a pillar of salt-- Not since the days of boys' tyranny Over my heart was I so weak Yet you see I would love to beg at your feet
6.
I only wanted to make something better than myself I never resisted being criticized No I listened to everything anyone has said But some things are not meant to be analyzed It's all over now I've grown so tired of listening to all the doubt The fear so consuming that I'll never get out I still have the choice To ignore that voice inside my head that says Whatever I do, it's not a success -- I've had enough of this With every glance new cracks, new flaws are exposed We all carry a thousand mistakes But you know someday this Pandora's box will be closed Until then, I'll do whatever it takes I look to the past, to the future to come Relying on daydreams that I might have won One day... I'm too soft, I'm too hard I'm too brave, I'm too scared I'm trivial, I'm serious Is anyone even hearing this? I hear the absence of your cheers Loud and clear, loud and clear...
7.
You don't ask what happened His history is a private matter You wouldn't like what you find Just pray to never ask for The violence he keeps confined Oh all the women before you He didn't deserve us, we were cruel You dear you are different, you are so innocent He watches you like a hawk And your body given to him, he owns it In daily life he is solicitous Wants to know your desires so he can fill them You tell him omitting only one thing: Your curiosity But with your subtle charms you have seduced the guard Now he walks beside you with a ring of keys You do not see the sadistic gleam in his eyes As he opens the forbidden chamber He will enjoy murder vicariously Your false step unleashes the fury Belied by your prince's calm demeanor What is behind that door? In Bluebeard's castle What is behind that door?
8.
Bruises 04:01
I learned to love from songs I know I do it wrong I fall fast and not very well Try to dissemble, but you can tell I can't play by the rules Too impatient to be pursued But you got under my skin Your skin under my nails Your smell on my hair Your marks on my arms If we can choose our bruises I've made my choice Now I sing my own song in my own voice Though my tongue may still be tied In the end I will be undenied Oh, I learned to love from songs I know I do it wrong If I could have what I wanted You would be part of it To grasp me firmly's not an option But I want you Even now I've had you, still -- I want you Tempted to give all this a name As our dance moves always one step out of frame
9.
Satin 04:45
I take the dress down from the attic I slip her on and tie her lace Tonight she might be stained and battered In your dangerous embrace I am satin, fretted and frayed By life's jagged edges When I let myself out to play Despite consequences Intensity is muted by pretending It’s not in reverence for your spark Just for the severance of strings That bound me, kept me from my heart Yet everything I make and do In this labyrinth of doubt Is a misguided lovesong to you Wouldn't mean anything without (oh let it out let it out!) I take the dress down from the attic I slip her on and lace her ties Tonight she might be torn and tattered Just because we are alive
10.
Trouble 04:25
I wasn't looking for -- Trouble found me It rests with eyes and words for now, my treachery Does the young planet know the force with which she pulls Who can blame two bodies for obeying gravity? Yes there are things that can't be undone But neither can they be unsaid; you can't be unwanted Knowing well that this could be the crisis Despite admonishments I remain undaunted Now I'm poised to fall the final distance into your arms The path of least resistance and the most harm I always get what I ask for But never know what I want So when I asked for it, Trouble found me It lives in flesh and bone, our treachery I won't ask the lioness to change her nature However merciless, however bloody This is not the first secret it won't be the last I see all the future tears as if they've already passed As if it's already known For now we keep it close I ask again, my friend -- Trouble find me Remind me how it feels, my treachery
11.
I think a lot about all the things that I have broken I look around at what remains, hoping If I turn away will I be submerged in regretting Or will I succeed in forgetting For too long I've wanted a forbidden kiss to force me to decision Chaos of lust is unstoppable and I am made of pure destruction All epiphanies are false and my sweet words might never mean a thing But I vacillate between two choices and a third could break the swing I will win either way I choose But either way I also lose I am adrift, I can't decide Whose desire to satisfy: his, yours or mine Those who don't fear me want me In this city full of men Can I say no to them for you? Can I say no to you for them?
12.
Casualties 04:48
"That's one of the unfortunate by-products of a married woman falling in love. There are almost always casualties, Eve." In retrospect it seems I've lost I could have won, but at what cost? Is it too late now to be brave? When there's no love left I can save Feeling guilt's my one regret I let you take all you could get I'm coming back to take what's mine I'm not afraid to cross the line
13.
Fugue Fugue 04:44
With an empty heart And all my hope wrapped tight around me Fled into lonely night I'm still here you never found me Running past fantasies (in anonymity) Of your Utopian daylight Pretend I'm someone else (one of many) Memories don't seem to fit right Those bells I thought would never toll for me When they did, hollow the sound, hollow the meaning But recall all the time (now far behind me) Spent in a warm embrace And why I exited (please don't remind me) Knowing it couldn't be replaced Love, once I thought you were (it's so easy to fall) The cure for everything that ailed me After I tried so hard (or did I try at all) Was it that you simply failed me? Those bells I thought would never toll for me When they did, hollow the sound, hollow the meaning Love, when I care to look I see you as smoke and mirrors Naked, I face myself When your illusion disappears
14.
Thumbelina 03:25
Don't crush her fairy's wings Hold her gently in your hand Help her to feel tall again None of this was planned She's too small for the pen Can't write her story down Too small for the pen Can't bring her mind around She's wilting in the corner No one to help her stand Help her to feel tall again None of this was planned Her silver shell is cracking Naïve beyond belief She's not as lithesome as she'd like Keeps glimpses of herself brief (Thumbelina, Thumbelina-ah) No junebugs can reach her here To sweep her into an unknown land And spirit her away to a lonely bloom No, none of this was planned She can question why she was born this small But of course there is no one to answer her call
15.
The Keys 03:33
With a promise to set me free From the cage I'd locked myself into He appeared with many keys How could I refuse? These golden bars they hold perfection But were chosen by mistake (mistake) Comfort would be my tomb I had to run away (he led me away) Waking in the morning, my head upon his chest The paradox abundantly clear This love attacked so fierce: it will decay like all the rest There is nothing to be gained here As lust turns to need all the promise is destroyed Need turns to possession Each little victory only noise So I have returned to my cage But now I hold the keys And I will use them Anytime I please
16.
Survival 05:54
For too long I paid lipservice to liberation Let my young self be subsumed in our relations Don't think for a moment I don't take responsibility But you have to agree it was time I set myself free Is it wrong to distill what we had for so many years Down to the worst of us both, all of our violence and tears Tell me what hurts and hate me for wanting it anyway Love has driven me from you and fear won't make me stay I have stared down the face of death Burned my idols till nothing was left If you tried to see through my eyes You would know this is how I'll survive, the only way I can survive You think I sacrificed happiness for pleasures trivial I repeat my mantra no regrets so someday it will feel real I am alone, there is no freedom from I begged borrowed and stole, escaped your rubber room Blame me for what you can You are a shell of a man Tell all my friends I've gone mad Everything I could've wanted, I had But survival isn't just for the body It's for what will be left of me All the ways you say I'm crazy They form my legacy You think I sacrificed happiness for pleasures trivial I repeat my mantra no regrets so someday it will feel real I am alone with my freedom to I lied cheated and stole to get away from you I am alone, wide skies above me This city's all mine, and no one to love me I am alone unprotected from my worst self No freedom from but I have no regrets I am alone, wide skies above, This city's all mine, and no one to love

about

Written between 2008 and early 2010, originally released April 28, 2010, with the repackaged CD in July 2014.

Unwoman's fourth full-length album. Sixteen songs. Rich layers of cello, voice, synthetic and organic sounds. Includes pdfs of full lyric sheet and packaging.

An instrumental version is available here:
unwoman.bandcamp.com/album/casualties-instrumentals

credits

released April 28, 2010

Unwoman is Erica Mulkey. All songs written, performed, engineered, and produced by Unwoman except cello on Bruises engineered by Yosh Haraguchi at Faultline Studios, www.faultlinestudios.com and lyrics on Thumbelina by Elizabeth Powers
Digitally mastered by Da5id Din at Corrosive Audio www.corrosive-audio.com
Cover/digipack photos by Audrey Penven, www.audreypenven.net
Lyric sheet photos by Neil Girling, www.theblight.net

Doctor Popular (www.docpop.org) recorded the music box samples, inspired the song “Haunted,” and offered exactly the support I needed most.
Huge thanks to Raymond Wolfe, Harley Gorrell, Joe Pate, Steven Miranda, Morgan Tucker (Crashfaster), Kat Mulkey, Dan Garcia, and all the other Kickstarter backers for their generous funding assistance. Laura Perlin, Kat Mulkey, and Thea Lawson provided me with essential feedback on the album and the song order.

Invaluable graphics suggestions and mock-up covers came from Mike Estee, Colin (catcubed), Aaron (sfslim), and Doctor Popular.

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Unwoman San Francisco

Unwoman is a San Francisco-based cellist-singer-songwriter. Layered with skillful cello, rich vocals, and electronically arranged beats, her solo music is a futuristic homage to her classical training. Unwoman has been featured at steampunk, goth, and sci-fi-related events all over North America and has performed with Abney Park, Rasputina, Voltaire, Amanda Palmer, Stripmall Architecture... ... more

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