Unwoman is a solo musical artist from San Francisco, California popular in the Steampunk community. Musician Erica Mulkey (born September 26, 1980) mixes cello and vocals with electronic influences. The music she creates is difficult to label with an established genre, but contains characteristics of synthpop and goth. Russian goth web-zine Shadowplay describes her music as "dark trip wave."
Mulkey began playing cello at nine years of age and piano at eleven. At sixteen she studied music at a local community college, where she composed music that incorporated cello, piano, and voice. She attended UC Santa Cruz and earned a BA in music with a concentration in electronic music.
Her debut album, Knowledge Scars (2002), was well-received as a tribute to a wide range of musical influences, with covers of songs by Kate Bush, Crass, and The Cure, that was presented in a dark, electronic style. Matthew Heilman of starvox.net writes that "her style ranges from a kind of experimental trip hop to swirling darkwave atmosphere with just enough static and noise to give it that extra technical punch." 1
In the summer of 2006, Unwoman toured briefly with the cello rock group Rasputina, filling in as second chair. The following year Mulkey contributed to Attrition's album All mine enemys whispers - the Story of Mary Ann Cotton. In the spring of 2009, she toured briefly with Voltaire on his To the Bottom of the Sea tour. Mulkey is a regular live guest with Vernian Process and has also enjoyed a brief stint with HUMANWINE.
Unwoman released her album The Keys as a preview of her upcoming album Casualties. Casualties was officially released on April 28, 2010; however its ship date was set for May 4, 2010. Casualties is also available as an instant download. To create interest in the album, Unwoman has been performing live concerts via Ustream. On March 24, Amanda Palmer mentioned Unwoman via Twitter, bringing Unwoman an influx of new fans.
The name "Unwoman" comes from Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale, and refers to the label given to sterile, feminist, or politically deviant women.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license