Cruel

from by Artemis

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about

I wrote this song back in 1997 and sang it at open mics at Hotel Utah in San Francisco. Also sang it at a Taxi Road Rally in Los Angeles, where a girl in the audience asked me if I was sure I was white. I was so nervous for that gig that when I stopped for gas just before I got there, I fueled up and drove away with the gas pump still in my car.

We recorded this performance of the song in 1998 at John Berkman's home studio in Los Angeles, with Greg Bartheld engineering.

lyrics

give me back my heart babe
don't you keep it out on loan
it is long overdue
why do you keep me hanging on
i told you that i play for keeps
honey take my lovin' seriously
'cause you keep knocking at my door
you nearly knocked it down
and it is cruel
to be so kind
if it is not for real
and what you say ain't what you feel

i remember how you came to me
sidled up so gracefully
and your disarming smile
well i must admit it charmed me
but your sweet talkin' ain't enough
i'm coming down to call your bluff
and i ain't no fallen angel babe
there's no need to pick me up
you can be cruel
'cause darlin' i ain't blind
and if love ain't what you feel
then darlin' your sweet lovin' ain't for real

oh why do you tease me
when you know just how to please me
you say come a little closer
like the spider to the fly
let me wrap this web around you
yeah i'll love you in a little while
well i almost let you win
cause darlin' a lie on your lips is sweet as sin
but one good kiss don't make me easy prey

give me back my heart babe
it don't belong to you
your mystery would be complete
if i could not see right through you
so aim your arrow to me
the poison will never get through to me
it knows the direction of your affection
and it will come back to you

you can be cruel
or you can be kind
it is all the same to me
so darlin' go ahead and tease me
you can be cruel
baby you can be cruel

credits

from Treasure, released March 5, 2012
Engineered by Greg Bartheld

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Artemis San Francisco

Spectral keyboard washes and sinuous dance beats set up a feeling of warm alienation while Artemis’s voice heats things further. Over the thump and shimmer, she croons with detached fervor, the music dissolving in a storm of pixie-dust disco until a rude riot of effects snaps the tether and she vanishes. ... more

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