War Stories

by Unwoman

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    Includes digipack exterior & interior images, and a .txt lyrics sheet for maximum usability. [I recently raised my download prices because I’m broke! If you’re broke too, use the code “OKE9” for a 60% discount! -Unwoman]
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Digipack with matte finish, full lyrics sheet

    Includes unlimited streaming of War Stories via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days

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  • USB Flash Drive + Digital Album

    Crystal USB with red LED and 8GB capacity. Shiny clear acrylic & brushed steel. Contains 24+ hours of Unwoman's music including War Stories, Uncovered Volume 3, Selected Songpoems, both regular & instrumental versions of Circling, The Fires I Started, and Casualties, several other original and covers albums & EPS, the dark-ambient EP, IDTWS, and bonus tracks not available anywhere else. Does not contain the newest subscription-only songs.

    Files are very high quality 320 kbps mp3s, but fans who prefer lossless may request download codes for FLAC files.

    Includes unlimited streaming of War Stories via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days

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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 29 Unwoman releases available on Bandcamp and save 60%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Uncovered Volumes 4 & 5, Head Like a Hole, War Stories Instrumentals, War Stories, Breathe Out (5 minutes version), Uncovered Volume 3, Selected Songpoems 2016, Come Take a Trip In My Airship, and 21 more. , and , .

    Excludes subscriber-only releases.

    Purchasable with gift card

      $47.20 USD or more (60% OFF)

     

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about

Unwoman's seventh original album. Fiercely feminist and aggressively feminine, ranging adeptly from rage to sentimentality, the album draws inspiration from real life and literature including Jane Eyre, The Princess Bride, and Jane Austen's Persuasion.

credits

released January 19, 2018

Unwoman is Erica Mulkey
All music written, performed, engineered, and produced by Unwoman (some percussion samples by Earworm Audio/Taylor Shechet)
Photography by Audrey Penven
Digitally mastered by Da5id Din at Corrosive Audio

Special thanks to Kat and Ben Mulkey for watching Leonard (the cutest baby in the world) while I worked, and Tom Cavnar for listening to my music as soon as I make it even when he’s on the other side of the world.

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about

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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Track Name: As You Wish
You would always answer “as you wish”
And I didn’t see it as a precious gift
Until I understood how rare true love is

My life was simple
Till seeing you through another’s wanting eyes
Made me realize what I’d been missing
Every moment my love grew a thousand times

No room in my body for anything but you
My knees shake with blind affection
I yearn for a chance to prove it
Just whisper that I might win your love

Anything you ask of me
I already want it too
Anything I don’t know now
I will learn for you, for you

You would always answer “as you wish”
And I didn’t see it as a precious gift
Until I understood how rare true love is

There were “strong wills” before “agency”
My beauty all my own though unknown to me
Until it caught the eye of the future king
Who saw me as yet another prey-thing

And it would have been so easy
To refuse if you still lived
But I’d stopped eating, stopped trying
And lost every care I could give

To exalt is to dehumanize
To turn a woman into nothing but a prize
So my beauty was a double-edged knife

And I still recalled those words you said
But nothing ever would be as I wished again
So I might as well reign as the living dead

But I should have known death couldn’t keep true love away
I’ll never make that mistake again

Anything you ask of me
I already want it too
Anything I don’t know now
I will gladly learn for you

And now you always answer “as you wish”
I cherish it as the most precious gift
I understand how rare true love is

Now you always answer “as you wish”
I cherish it as the most precious gift
We understand how rare true love is
Track Name: War Stories
Bringer of death of destruction of vengeance
Mother of nothing but war
Liars will tell you it’s to end the violence
Somehow they always make more

You have a thousand ways to tell war stories
Yet say all births are the same
This is your only way to speak to angels:
A trophy kill in your name

Bombs for peace
Work to be free

Your bomb is no one’s mother
A thousand war stories
Will never give mass murder
One word of birth’s glory

You’re seeking other worlds
Because you’ve consumed yours
Why should you tend to growing things
When you could just conquer?

We’ll fight for peace till we’re bloody and bruised and
Still find time to build a world
Push back against how we’re taught to be used and
Never forget who we were

So we’ll fight for peace
And keep on loving
Never for one second buy
The lies you are selling
Track Name: Saviors
You saw me on a vast unconquerable frontier
You heard my voice in desperation drawing you near
Might this be your chance to meet your destiny?
To save someone deep in the throes of need

But my song was never directed at you
I know these myths are never true

I'm through with saviors who are mistaken
That I am helpless and I need saving
Neither am I a lovely siren
My only purpose your temptation

Still it was easy to lure me to your land
I love the promise of a future unplanned
When fog no longer shrouded me you realized
Your reflection never shone in my eyes

The stars had never twinkled so bright
But I was still whole and wholly alone that night

I am not a diversion from your hero’s journey
I have my own monsters to slay
Not a pretty toy to add to your collection
I have my own princess to save

I am home again
No need to be rescued
That’s never what I would yes to

What I tried to say
Was walk beside me or walk away
Track Name: Before the Flood
This city sucks the blood of the young
To feed the rich and greedy
Then the young learn to look down in disgust
At the bodies of the needy

I did not ask to be born a citizen of your land
I did not ask to need to be fed by your charitable hand

One last rain before the flood
(rising up all around us)
One last flood before the water pulls us all under
And there’s no Atlantis to escape to
No future to create, now
But now we see your wars
For what they are

I am not a lone oracle
We all know the ship’s going down
But for all I know you’ve got a lifeboat
It’s just your poor soldiers who’ll drown

I did not ask to fight for the rights of the rulers of this land
I did not ask to die by your enemy’s hand

One last rain (etc.)
And if there is a life boat on board
You’d better believe we will take it
We will seize everything
As you look on in the wake
Your money won’t buy back lives
From the ones you tried to take

One last rain (etc)
And if there is a life boat on board
You’d better believe we will take it
We will seize everything
As you look on in the wake
Your money won’t buy the lives
From the spirits you tried to break
Track Name: The Surrender
I seared my fingertips
To cleanse my identity
I burned off my palms
To erase my destiny
I tore out all the pages
To clear my history
I’m naked as you are
With nothing but clarity

I thought I knew the colors of love
Long before I knew what love meant oh
Bowed before gods and sex and drugs
But I have just now learned to surrender

I have forgot the words
Will you learn them with me
As slowly we emerge
From a world without memory
I’ve had only one wish
Since you appeared to me
To watch over you
Growing and happy
Track Name: Bad Man
I am not a bad man
Wouldn’t you love to learn how to love me?
You are all I dream of
Angelic sweetness, faith and mercy

I am not a bad man
Compared to injustice you’ve survived
I tell you you’re my equal
Rare and unearthly, pure light

I know they taught you to be a good woman
To stomach the worst of men like me
Tend to my wounds as if you could heal them
Let me prey on your sympathy

I am not a bad man
You’ve always admired the anti-hero
Brooding and misunderstood
Because his mind is superior

Ignore the screaming — my wife in in the attic
I just pretend she does not exist
And I insist that you are not like the others
You will always be innocent
When the house burns down and she’s dead you’ll come back
You’ll love me despite my deformity
And maybe once I’m blind I’ll see how I’ve erred and
I will learn some humility

I am not a bad man
(As I prey on)
Wouldn’t you love to learn how to love me?
(The saint in you)
I am not a bad man
(I swear it will)
If only someone would learn how to love me
(Fulfill you)
Track Name: We Love Longest
My family and friends couldn’t believe I loved a sailor
Under their sway I suppose I couldn’t either
Eight years have passed and never once did I forget you
Nor all the love you would have given had I let you

You’ve returned and you must have seen
How regret has weighed heavy upon me

We love longest after all hope is gone
I’m still longing, loving you all along

Men can replace the loves they have left with constant action
A baronet’s daughter does not dare pursue a profession
Each day for you felt like a year to me
Safe at home while won your fortune at sea

Oh I’d rather be overturned by you
Than driven to safety by someone else
One look, one word may be enough
But I want to drown you in all my love
Track Name: The Same Stream
At times time itself is uncertain
Not knowing your place in history
You draw back the curtain
Older self the crux of the mystery

You can dip your foot in the same stream
If you break the ice
The foot is no longer the same
Yet you’ve been there twice

You found a body use the body
You broke the body lose the body
You lost your body choose a body

If inspiration is truly divine
What should the earthly vessel matter
As long as someone is there to receive it —
You quickly write all the words you merely remember
(They fascinated you so)

If you believe in fate rather than chaos
The cycle repeats and repeats and —
Track Name: Flies
There was a time before the winged creatures spoke to each other
A bad reputation was the scent of sticky honey
Attracting flies and bears alike
Calling the birds out of the sky to alight with aspiration
Oh, to touch your dangerous beauty
To know terrestrial pleasures as you, an expert in knowing them, do
The promise to teach wildness to the politely restrained

We argue about the right way to say things
Call out an insensitive metaphor
In black and white everyone can see our failings
And we can never be sorry enough
Yet there are real monsters in our midst
Whose demons burn them from within
Hollow corpses walking hungry
And we let you — afraid to speak your names
To lose the honor of your celebrity

Don’t you know flies love shit too
Soon that’s all you’ll have surrounding you
A thick cloud of insects your exile
Goodbye bears and birds and pretty girls

Remember when I assured you
No one will believe me when I tell them what you’ve done
So you don’t need to silence me
I may as well speak and let them think I just want the attention

But picturing public opinion: shocked at my brashness
Or full of saccharine sympathy
I recoiled, hushed
But the birds I told believed me
The ones I got to before you could poison them against me
Those immune to the slick ooze of your charm

The honey smells like shit
Track Name: Waxing Gibbous
The moon is waxing gibbous
And the night is young
Let’s hang a ladder on the stars
And kiss on every rung
As if the song is endless
Until it’s all been sung
The most delightful turn of phrase
Might end as it’s begun

Dresses and high heels
Burlesque and bourbon
And stumbling through the quarter
Tipsy and laughing
Riding the streetcar
And happy in your arms

I don’t need you fall to your knees
And tell me you want me
Do as you please
Just tell me if you want me
I don’t need to hear
You tell you love me
Don’t disappear
Once you have told me you that love me

Had I forgotten
Once we were home again
You would forget me
Did I read too much
Into the intimacy
We shared when it was easy

The moon is waning gibbous
And the dawn is near
We climb down from the stars
And watch our silhouettes grow clear
And if the song is ending
The decent thing you know
Is say goodbye and tell me why
And let me let you go
Track Name: Almost
I learned the truth at 27
That love is really meant for no one
Still I tried to be a beauty queen
I have fit myself into smaller spaces
Tried on a thousand faces
In some vague attempt to be seen

It’s the almost, almost that tears me wide open
Almost good enough
Almost whole and I’ve almost been broken
Unlearning how to stay unloved

Do you remember when you told me
You’d do anything to keep me
And how quickly you forgot
Did I ask the impossible
When I needed tenderness
Did I ask you to be someone you’re not

It’s the almost, almost that kills me
Thinking I am a just little better than anyone else sees
I’m eighty cents looking for a dollar
A rescued kitten too good for her collar
Track Name: Breathe Out
The songs of two battle-bloodied birds
The last green leaf of a blighted bay
The love that grows inside me now
The new love it pulls in its wake

Breathe out dullness and hopes neglected
Breathe in fullness and nerves electric

The best spells are made of letting go
Not reaching or climbing, but saying no
There’s no room in any heart for both something new and something broken

Only wish for luck and more wishes
Let go of desires selfish

They warn you about the emptiness
Where fools rush in — but you’re a fool too
Or they tell you it will come when you stop looking
So you stop
Still your hope blocks the door
And you can’t clear your mind
Of the pictures they planted
Of happiness as commodity
Or the life you planned
In the love you planned

Still your hope blocks the door
Until you learn to say no
Until you let go

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