Jill Tracy surprises with dark, sultry Christmas album ‘Silver Smoke, Star of Night’

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I’ve been meaning to post about Jill Tracy for a long time. I discovered her on Myspace, back when that was a thing. I would describe her style as gothic cabaret, lots of songs about murder and poison and dark secrets. My girlfriend thinks she sounds a lot like Tori Amos. I think of her as a female version of Daniel Knox. Both have music filled with dark beauty and at times, a wicked sense of humor.

Jill Tracy did something this year that surprised me – created a Christmas album full of music that I actually enjoy. A lot. Silver Smoke, Star of Night is a collection of carols, some dating back to the Middle Ages, and her own song, “Room 19,” about a ghost haunting an old hotel room.

The music is lovely, something I would listen to any time of the year. It’s Christmas music, but it is also night music.

To my surprise, Silver Smoke, Star of Night made Christianity Today‘s list of Best New Christmas Music of 2012. I never would have expected Jill Tracy to be on that magazine’s radar, but I can’t argue with their take on the album:

A hypnotic, slowly building version of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” sets the tone for this absolutely stunning collection by this Bay Area-based songwriter. This is the CD you put on at night, post-gift wrapping as you drink up hot chocolate and the warm glow of the Christmas lights.

Give it a listen and see if you don’t agree.

Check out some of her other albums and consider purchasing some of it. She’s quite prolific. I bought Diabolical Streak years ago and I never get tired of it.

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