Member since: February 16, 2011
Sweet Soubrette features the songwriting, vocals and ukulele of Ellia Bisker, whose dark, edgy love songs have captured fans' hearts and critical praise since she began performing solo with her ukulele in 2006. Sweet Soubrette’s first appearance was in the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus’s Winter Cabaret in NYC, after which she quickly took off in the NYC independent music scene, followed by international tours in France (2008) and Italy (2010). Among other honors, Bisker has received two ASCAPlus Awards for her songwriting, and she was crowned “Mizz Greenpoint” (Brooklyn) in 2008. Sweet Soubrette’s festival appearances have included CMJ, the Paris Uke Fest, the New York Ukulele Festival, the Extremely Hungary Festival, and the Berkshire Fringe.
With the 2008 release of debut album Siren Song, produced by Tim Cohan (MH Records), Sweet Soubrette began earning increased attention from reviewers and fans alike, and the album received high rotation on national college radio and positive reviews in the indie music press. Since then, Sweet Soubrette has expanded to include a talented backing band that may include anywhere from one to ten musicians (on violin, drums, glockenspiel, marimba, bass, piano, keyboard, horns, and backing vocals). Core members include violinist Heather Cole, who has played classical violin since the age of four and has also studied bluegrass, klezmer, and Irish fiddle; classically trained percussionist Mike Dobson, who has received degrees from Mannes College and the Hartt School and performs frequently with renowned symphony orchestras and circuses; and bassist Bob Smith toured with the indie rock band Trunk Federation in the 90s and is now the director of a public school music program in NYC.
Sweet Soubrette released its second album, Days and Nights, in January 2011, followed by a tour the northeast U.S. that was funded by fans through a successful RocketHub crowdfunding campaign. This playful, thoughtful album is captivating, humorous, and devastating, with a rich and powerful sound. The songs it includes are about troubled love in all its permutations -- from tongue-in-cheek pop tunes about gold diggers and other dangerous women to songs that let their guard down to express longing, hope, and desire. Alternately vulnerable and seductive, Sweet Soubrette’s pitch-perfect evocations of imperfect romance are filled with catchy refrains, gorgeous harmonies, and skilled instrumentation. Witty lyrics and inventive arrangements combine with a dark pop sensibility to create a sound that has been compared to Amanda Palmer and Regina Spektor.
The 2011 album release and tour generated buzz and positive press for Sweet Soubrette:
"This is a band that intuitively knows not just how to attract an audience, but also how to keep them there." -Worcester Magazine