When most of us dream of time travel, we fancy ourselves voyaging way, way back to attend Victorian balls and personally witness the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, the building of the Pyramids or the reign of the dinosaurs. Unwoman (aka: Erica Mulkey) recently stepped through the portal and chose to go no further back than 1980.
The 80’s and the 90’s were the years when Erica, as a young girl, frolicked in her imagination, painted fairies and discovered music. She took up cello at the age of nine and learned the piano two years later. She was writing songs by 13 and studying electronic music many moons soon after. Today, she is a fixture at Steampunk expos around the US and Canada and has collaborated with numerous fantasy world music icons including Abney Park, Amanda Palmer and Rasputina.
In 2011, her passionately loyal fanbase enabled her to traverse the stormy seas of music licensing to realize a long-brewing dream of hers — to revisit the songs of her youth and put her otherworldy spin on them. Uncovered Volume #1 includes Unwoman’s chilling, haunting and ethereal versions of smashes pop smashes by Wham!, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and Michael Jackson, alongside dark classics by Sisters of Mercy, Nine Inch Nails and Nick Cave.
Of the Nine Inch Nails cover, “Hurt,” already once re-imagined by Johnny Cash, Unwoman said:
“Oh, tear my juvenile, half-assedly self-destructive heart out! I loved Nine Inch Nails for the aggressive sound and catchy subversion, but this was the song that really pulled at my soul. I learned to play it on piano when I was 14 and in fact played it for the school talent show my freshman year. I thought I was so serious and so dramatic. I was probably simply adorable.”
Today, Unwoman prepares to tackle modern music on Uncovered Volume #2. Here is an early glimpse of what’s to come: a stirring live version of Unwoman covering MGMT’s “Kids.” If you want to be a good faerie, support Unwoman and join the fun at her very own Kickstarter community.