Purgatory, CA

by Tracy Manuel

/
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Download also includes a special secret bonus track.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $6 USD  or more

     

1.
04:11
2.
3.
4.
03:25
5.
03:12
6.
7.
03:13
8.

about

"In her new genre-bending, self-produced album, Purgatory, CA, Manuel paints an unflinching portrait of coming of age in contemporary rural America. She stands witness to a multiplicity of devastations, from self-sabotage to harmful ideologies to natural — and unnatural — disasters. With most of the songs written months before her hometown was ravaged by the 2018 Carr Fire, these tales of ash and disillusionment reach beyond one community’s tragedy to reveal a national malaise.

Sonically, Purgatory, CA could be slotted somewhere between rootsy alt-country and electric freak-folk, but its big heart and mongrel affinities for melding tech twists to kick-ass rhythm and blues push it well into uncharted terrain. Supported by pedal and lap steel from Keith Cary, Manuel’s a multi-tracked one-woman band — she plays acoustic and electric guitars, bass, and drums while juicing up her sound with a host of effects buried deep in the mix. The stacked and blended overdrives, rhythmic delays, and rattling percussion swirl into a psychedelic sheen, summoning luminous soundscapes from traditional song forms. It’s all in service to Manuel’s resonant alto, which spans moods from introspective hesitance to bar-band swagger." 



–Laurie O’Connell

Producer, World Imitation Productions: Meat Puppets, Monitor

credits

released September 25, 2018

Tracy Manuel: guitars, bass, drums, percussion, vocals
Keith Cary: lap steel, pedal steel

Recorded and mixed by Steve O'Neill at Foxtail Sound in Dixon, CA.

Mastered by Bruce Turgon at After Hours Recorders in Redding, CA.

All songs written, arranged, and produced by Tracy Jean Manuel (BMI).

license

all rights reserved

tags

about

Tracy Manuel Winters, California

Tracy Manuel is a percussionist, guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Born and raised in Far NorCal, she chronicles contemporary rural life in her music, borrowing evenly from plaintive acoustic songcraft and experimental electric knob-twiddling. Her 2018 album, Purgatory, CA, is an unflinching song cycle bearing witness to small-town disaster, from the personal to the political to the ecological. ... more

contact / help

Contact Tracy Manuel

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Track Name: Tread On Us
High as a drone, bald as an eagle
Monday, Tuesday, everyday people
They know freedom ain’t free, there’s a $2 cover
To come watch a weeknight blend into another
Here comes that feelgood nervous breakdown that gets me every time
I try to be here in person, try to stay out past nine
Feel that white-hot country panic, every single song says,
This is who I am, this is what I want

And they say more of it
And they say don’t hide it
And they say you’ll love it
If baby, you just try it

Now I read all the latest fistfights and the entertainment news
‘Bout who makes $60 a night to pour peroxide on the blues
When they stop through on their way to Portland or LA
Sign our bathroom walls, while we’re circling the drain
And there’s a TV from the 90s, still flickers in the dark
As all the evening anchors read the news from where we aren’t
How pretty people get in trouble, pretty people get ahead
And fill the pretty magazines (most of ours are filled with lead)

And they say more of it
And they say don’t hide it
And they say you’ll love it
If baby, you just try it

My country tis of thee, but she don’t look at me
No she don’t look at me, she never looks at me
Just stares right out the window with contempt across her face
With a scab on every knuckle and a keyring hung with Mace
So stagger back to where you parked and hope your window isn’t smashed
You sometimes carry heat but you try not to carry cash
And now the air is getting heavy and the pavement shiny wet
And we’re all standing in the puddle of the bullets that we’ve sweat

And they say more of it
And they say don’t hide it
And they say you’ll love it
If baby, you just try it
And so leave your tears
Leave them in the dust
Baby, angels fear
To tread on us
Tread on us
Track Name: Chocolate Kerosene
Drove all the way to Napa for a $15 burger
Wiped the ash off of the hood and fed the meter on the corner
Let me go, let me go

Had my two feet on the sidewalk and my spirit trying to quit me
I was standing in the sunlight wishing I could feel it hit me
Wasn’t close, not even close

This world been dipped in chocolate kerosene

Drove up and down the valley as the smoke poured off the mountains
Gather all of your prescriptions, throw your nickels in the fountains
Call it hope, call it hope

‘Cause staying put is suicide and leaving’s close to torture
Eden’s getting past its prime, they’re gonna burn the orchard
Got to go, you have to go

This world been dipped in chocolate kerosene
And time’s a hungry flame beneath our feet

Maybe someday in the push and pull
I’ll crawl out of this burning bowl
And wonder why I ever cared
When smoke rose in my rear view mirror
But I care, I care, I care, I care

Because every place I’ve been to makes me start to wonder whether maybe
I could never wander farther than you’d throw a feather
Baby, throw, I don’t know

‘Cause this world been dipped in chocolate kerosene
And time’s a hungry flame beneath our feet
This world been dipped in chocolate kerosene
If you’re prepared to burn, I guess it’s sweet
Track Name: Late Bloomer
They told me
The road to hell is paved with fake IDs
You couldn’t help but take one off the street
See if it’d get you through the door

Why would you wait your turn?
There are so many ways to live and learn
Lover left you with a freezer burn
But you can’t feel it anymore

But that’s the way it goes
The faster that you grow
The faster you’ll end up flat on the ground
I ain’t a thing like you
I think you probably knew I was
Just barely old enough to let you down

The petals fall
You see your old friends in the checkout stalls
You say you’re fine and hide the Tylenol
And they pretend that they don’t see

You hate their wedding gowns
That roll of measure tape that’s wrapped around
The waist of every girl who’s still in town
And you pretend you’re walking free

So if you wanna self destruct
Then go and self-destruct
And blow this neighborhood to smithereens
No use to take your time
Keep clinging to the vine
While everyone you know is withering

Must not have gave a damn
When you reached for my hand that night
No, you weren’t looking for a graceful landing
There’s nothing to repent
I was scared back then
Now I’m just scared to be the last one standing

Late bloomers are the true survivors
Late bloomers barely know their friends
Late bloomers turn to nine-to-fivers
Late bloomers worry how it ends
Track Name: Purgatory
Purgatory, CA
Local ER, Friday night
Saline coming down in torrents
Sunburned arms with wristbands white
Fractured little conversations
Losing someone ‘bout my age
I remember graduation,
Praying it’d be worth the wait

They said,
Can you see your future now?
Can you see your future clear?
Can you see your future clear?
It’s hard to see it here

I take bad news on an empty stomach
Good news with a grain of salt
I bite my lip ‘till I taste blood
And worry when those sirens call
There’s no cure for boredom, ain’t it
Hard to grow up underage?
But come in here, they’ll call you patient
Whether not you make the wait

They say,
Can you see your future now?
Can you see your future clear?
Can you see your future clear?
It’s hard to see it here

When you’re several worlds away
From the waiting room TV
And peoples’ ways to renovate
Their bodies, homes, and dreams

‘Cause they can see their future now
They can see their future clear
Oh, don’t it look so bright and clear

People they say the future’s now
People say the future’s clear
Oh, they can see the future clear
But they’re not looking here
Track Name: Bootstrap Nation
Well, you woke up in a fever
When you was just a kid
Brought you down to the floor, oh lord
And you ain’t ever been up since
But now you gotta, gotta, gotta find you
Something that can pull you through
Cause this is a bootstrap nation —
Ain’t nobody pulling for you

Well, your mama was the corporation
Your daddy loved her through and through
Your daddy, he was blind ambition
Your mama told him what to do
Then one day they sat you down
And they taught you everything they knew
That this is a bootstrap nation —
Ain’t nobody pulling for you

Well, your name’s the only thing they gave you
Before they wrapped you up in fear
And prayed it’d be enough to save you
Before they handed you away down here

‘Cause you were born when the sky was torn
Ain’t ever seen it back to blue
And the world don’t fit between your shoulder blades
Even if you would’ve wanted it to
When those doors swing wide, every woman and child
And man had better know what to do
‘Cause this is a bootstrap nation —
Ain’t nobody pulling for you

‘Cause this is a bootstrap nation —
Ain’t nobody pulling for you
Track Name: Deja Boom
Our fire season brides are expecting the worst
Every dry lightning strike, every propane tank burst
Sweet summer dreams turn to ash every year
So hitch up your dress, girl, and cover your ears

Deja boom
Hear the roar of the planes
Another June
In this tinderbox state
Say, “I do”
To the new normal, babe
Again and again and again

Two in the morning, somewhere ‘cross town
Somebody thought they were standing their ground
Somebody else thought they might do the same
Now there’s two white chalk outlines behind caution tape

Deja boom
Hear that shot through the dark
Where were you
When they closed down the bar?
Local news
Breaks the same repertoire
Again and again and again

The headlines are wrapped into circles of words
And stuffed in a bag and left out on the curb
As the world keeps on turning itself inside out
We’ve been here before and we’ll see you next round

So go mow your lawn and fold up your sheets
And hope your town skips out on fate for a beat
Keep repetitive stress from grinding you down
Nuclear families, powder keg towns

Deja boom
Feel the blood in your ears
Live in truth
Though the truth tastes like fear
Always knew
That it could happen here
Again and again and again
Track Name: Hope These Days
Saw it there before your eyes
World exploded into noise
And from the ashes you will rise
But it ain’t like you have a choice

The things that pass for hope these days
Bad times don’t last but good things break
So sift through ash for cups and plates
The things that pass for hope these days

From every corner people heard
And pressed their hearts to retina screens
It’s good to know they know it hurts
Still don’t know the hell it means

The things that pass for hope these days
Bad times don’t last, or so they say
So stack your cans and powdered eggs
The things that pass for hope these days

I just need a little laugh
I just need to sleep tonight
I only took a half a tab
I only need to know you’re fine

The things that pass for hope these days
Bad times don’t last, some scars don’t fade
So pick up trash and wash your face
The things that pass for hope these days

If you like Tracy Manuel, you may also like: