Chelsea Wolfe, moody drone-folk to gloomy, cinematic post-rock
September 18, 2013 6:37 PM   Subscribe

If you've been tracking gloomy music from witch house sounds to doomy black metal stuff, you might have heard the name Chelsea Wolfe, who contributed to a hazy Halloween-all-year sounding 2-Pac/Notorious B.I.G. mixtape thing and covered Black Spell of Destruction, which was originally by Burzum. There was also her cover of The Modern Age, from the tribute compilation to The Strokes Is This It (prev). Then there are her two past albums: first The Grime And The Glow, which employed lo-fi 8-track tape hiss to add a haunted ambiance, then Apokalypsis, "moody drone-folk" likened to the sounds of PJ Harvey and Scout Niblett. If that catches your interest, great. But may I suggest skip ahead to the current album, Pain is Beauty, "emotionally exhausting in equally mad and enjoyable ways," in which the "permanent Halloween costume" of prior albums is cast aside, and "we get a better sense of her talent and spirit."
posted by filthy light thief (12 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite
All three albums are linked from her Bandcamp account, for streaming and such. She has more material there, but I'll let you find that on your own. Personally, Pain is Beauty reminds me of Portishead's Third, but experienced through a hazy, post-rock filter. But I'll stop writing and let the music stand alone now.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:39 PM on September 18, 2013

I will be missing her show on Sunday, and I am very sad. She's on heavy rotation in this house.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:16 PM on September 18, 2013

Holy shit, how had I never heard of this amazing artist? Just listened to some of her stuff and it's fabulous, right up my alley. Thanks very much, filthy light thief!
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:24 PM on September 18, 2013

Yes yes yes yes.

It's funny how "seasonal" music is seeming to me, the older I get. And Chelsea Wolfe is a definite Fall/Winter sound. I can't wait.

Similarly, I've been deliberately and frustratingly saving Austra's Olympia for three months without a single listen, despite my excitement, just because I think they should be a "Fall/Winter sound." Ain't no way she's a Summer jamz kind of gal—despite the release date, and the slightly poppier sound.

I've been wondering if there's something to, as a musician or band, releasing your album based on what seaon people will be most receptive to it.

Also, kudos to making this post in early Fall. Maybe my sentiment is going around?

Also, also: Chelsea Wolfe is releasing through PENDV Records. There's a lot of Bushwick-y, Brooklyn-y, darkrave-y noise on there, (which can be great too) but there are also some really dark, soulful, exhausting heartbreakers mixed in, if that's what anyone is looking for.
posted by functionequalsform at 8:17 PM on September 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

Interesting thought on the seasonality of music. I'm more of a mood-driven person, and I often find myself in a fall/winter mood.

Chelsea's release schedule, per Bandcamp:

The Grime & The Glow - Dec 2010
Apokalypsis - Aug 2011
PAC&BIG - Jan 2012 (she was only featured on one song)
Unknown Rooms: A Collection Of Acoustic Songs - Oct 2012
Sing Songs Together - Apr 2013
Pain is Beauty - Sep 2013
posted by filthy light thief at 8:36 PM on September 18, 2013

Really good live, also.
posted by MetalFingerz at 8:56 PM on September 18, 2013

It may have something to do with the fact that I've lived in NYC for six years, and am just now getting used to seasons.

I'm starting to look forward to Fall music in the same way I look forward to velvet jackets and apple cider donuts.

And inversely, the Summer releases (Empire of the Sun and AlunaGeorge burnout over here, no mas por favor, stop) with sandals and rooftops.

(Also, another band I've been deliberately not listening to all Summer is Black Marble, just to savor it during Fall, like a nice pumpkin ale.)
posted by functionequalsform at 9:11 PM on September 18, 2013

There should be a special place in Vegas reserved for whoever came up with the term "post-rock."
posted by timsteil at 9:44 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

She is tremendous live. Go see her asap, please.

If you do like post-rock (heck, even if you don't, please keep reading), she's also featured on a track from (label-mates) Russian Circles' new album. The track's called Memorial and it is an excellent melding of talents.
posted by raihan_ at 10:19 PM on September 18, 2013

timsteil: There should be a special place in Vegas reserved for whoever came up with the term "post-rock."

That would be Simon Reynolds, and he has a point:
He used the term to describe music "using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes, using guitars as facilitators of timbre and textures rather than riffs and power chords".
Or said with less jargon, it's music made with guitars and drums, but without the usual vocal-focused, power chord driven style of all other genres of "rock" music.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:06 AM on September 19, 2013

My friends have been trying to turn me on to her, but I've been hesitant. Thanks for this, as it'll give me a good chance to try before I buy (and probably fall in love).
posted by immlass at 9:47 AM on September 19, 2013

Damn. I just missed her Houston gig (at a GREAT venue) too.
posted by uberchet at 12:19 PM on September 19, 2013

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