Glamorous spy-girl soul with a sexy vintage kick! While Sarah Tracey can jump from one runaway train to another at a speed of 90 miles per hour, she can also deliver delicious harmonies for the soul, clever lyrics for the head, and a voice that goes straight to the heart.
Sarah Tracey was born with an adventurous spirit and flair for drama. Her family tree reads like something out of Indiana Jones: she was descended from Irish horse thieves and Mayflower crusaders; eccentric visionaries and aviation pioneers; scandalous headlinemakers and submarine-dodgers; explorers and excavators (it was, after all, on an archeological dig in 1938 that her grandfather discovered one of the first dinosaur fossils in North America).
So, it’s no surprise that in dreaming up her debut full-length album, Tell No One, she slipped into the stiletto boots and fearless drive of a glamorous spy girl, writing dizzy fantasies of jet-setting around the globe and uncovering decadent and dangerous secrets along the way.
Tell No One covers a decidedly bolder musical terrain than Sarah Tracey has ever dared risk until now. Inspired by the espionage film scores of the Cold War era- complete with a sexy vintage kick and a swingin’ horn section- it’s the perfect backdrop for sipping your martini while reaching for the dynamite in your boot heel, escaping a helicopter while swinging your vintage convertible out of a mountain curve, or an undercover fling into a seductress double agent’s lair. The sultry and sensual vocals that have become Miss Tracey’s trademark are ever-present, but the playful, sassy and empowered vibe owes just as much to Nancy Sinatra as it does Nina Simone.
‘Sitting on pianos and crooning torchy laments got a little boring,’ explains Tracey. ‘It was time to kick it up a notch. I took a chance on this album and just went for it… I pushed myself out of that comfort zone. I wanted the listener to travel the world with me through their very own dreams and fantasies.’ She points out that ‘Spy’ genre was full of fun musical twists to play with. ‘We have everything
represented here from action-packed high-energy retro grooves and surf guitar riffs, to tango and exotic Latin lounge beats, to jazzinflected lullabies.’
Lyrically, the concept of the ‘secret identity’ took on a rich and emotionally resonant tone. “My lyrical inspiration for these songs was the duality of my two personalities: my controlled ‘everyday’ self vs. my reckless ‘by night’ self. I think a lot of people can relate to the feeling of having a secret, hidden side that you rarely show- just like a secret agent and their ‘cover’ identity. You may not be travelling
on missions to Budapest or Bali, but we all have secret lives.’
The release of Tell No One marks an important milestone for this Chicago-bred singer/songwriter. As a child, she was always on the quest to add a little spice and sizzle to life- from belting out operatic trills around the house to shocking her conservative pre-school teachers with her Flashdance-inspired moves. But to her parents’ great relief, she began to channel this runaway creativity into music, writing her first song at age five. Her early repertoire was characterized by an obsession with Ann-Margret in Viva Las Vegas, endless Jessica Rabbit impersonations, and a few highly praised stints as ‘Poison Ivy’ in backyard productions of Batman.
Of course it wasn’t all fantasy: the necessity of hard work was drilled into her by her grandfather: a ballet dancer, Shakespeare aficionado, cellist, and musical mentor who made sure Sarah got the training and education every legitimate artist needs to thrive. After studying at the Cincinnati and Boston Conservatories, and the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, she
moved to NYC with music degree in hand.
Her New York career has been a rollercoaster of diverse musical experiments and dues-paying. Highlights include: crooning sultry ballads at midnight every Saturday as the opening act for a magician in an underground speakeasy, strutting white satin gloves and sequins as a professional Doo-Wop Girl with Rock and Roll legends The Drifters and The Coasters, singing the best of Motown at Caesar’s Palace Casino in Atlantic City, providing hooks for hip-hop tracks as a studio session vocalist, channeling her inner Bardot while paying tribute to the music of Serge Gainsbourg (playing a set exclusively in French!) for the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival, shimmying and serenading in naughty Burlesque shows, singing Verdi’s Requiem at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center (supporting the Interschool Orchestras of New York), and honing her own songwriting in the small clubs and tucked-away cabarets of downtown
Partly funded by her fans, Tell No One was recorded live at legendary Sear Sound Recording in New York City, with sultry grooves provided by some of NYC’s favorite session players. Extra flash was brought in by a brass section straight from Broadway and backup vocals from her own team of Doo-Wop girls. A sexy, stylish, and soulful journey of intrigue through secret hotel rooms, mysterious penthouses, and soaring private jets, Tell No One was released by Modern Vintage Recordings on September 27, 2011.
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