IDOL FRIDAY: Chelsea Wolfe

Chelsea Wolfe. Experimental, reclusive artist from sunny California who believes darkness comes after light.

Haunting, prophetic and intense, she’s been described as a ‘forlorn temptress’ who creates music that weaves otherworldly tales of past turmoil and dark days.  She is known for her brand of “drone-metal-art-folk”.

Chelsea Wolfe’s vocals rise vapour-like from her  mystical and intoxicating tapestries of sound, merging hymnal choruses and progressive rhythms.  Her music evokes sensations which feel intangible and indistinguishable.  Exploring deeper territories, her wistful noise seems designed to raise hairs rather than any notions of ‘popularity’ or ‘cool’.

The quick lowdown :

– Hails from Sacramento, California. Currently operates out of Los Angeles.

– Immersed in music from an early age and began recording herself at age nine. By the time she was in fourth grade, she knew she wanted to be a singer.

– However, it wasn’t until 2009, when she returned from a three-month tour with a performance artist friend, that she began making music for others to hear.

– Wolfe released debut album The Grime & The Glow in 2010, recorded with her friends on a portable eight-track, and has subsequently crept onto the music industry’s peripheries.

– On a journey of self-discovery, Wolfe crafts witch-like spells in sonic form; self-described “spiritual realm funeral songs with a hint of Estonian industrial”.

– Seems keen on exploring artistic sensibilities, and veers towards art and fashion as avenues of expression.

– Adores designer Iris van Herpen (one of our favourite designers also!)

–  Wolfe covered Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ “I Let Love In” on her 2011 LP, Ἀποκάλυψις (pronounced “apokalypsis”, Greek for both “apocalypse” and “revelation”)

This mistress of doom-drenched electric folk is as unique in appearance as she is in sound.  And thats a good thing.

We love you, Chelsea Wolfe.

Photo: WDRKMR (Alexander Iezzi & Jordan Robin)

“I’m one of those wear-on-the-outside-what-you-feel-on-the-inside sort of people, so getting dressed or dressed up has a lot to do with what’s on my mind or heart any given day.”

Photo: WDRKMR (Alexander Iezzi & Jordan Robin)

“I don’t really think personally I’m a dark person, but I’m definitely moody and interested in revealing the truth and the reality of things and not just sugarcoating things.”

Picture of Chelsea Wolfe

“I’ve always been a musical outcast– I don’t mean that in a negative way– but I don’t really think about being underground or not underground. Whatever’s available to me– a large or small audience– I’m there with them.”

” Even though it’s not the same sound, I can relate to something that’s inside of black metal music, and I think others pick up on that similar feel.”

Image: Anna Dobos

“I’m always trying to create an atmosphere and a film screen within each song. I want something bigger than sound.”

Image: Angel Ceballos

Photo: Chelsea Wolfe Facebook

Photo: Chelsea Wolfe Facebook

“I approach music in a way that has privacy and integrity and is influenced more by film, visual art, books, than by other music.”

“(I have) an affinity for toughness, warriors, nordic folk and white trash… and something elegant mixed in. Kind of black metal in a less blatant way.”

“it took me a really long time to feel comfortable as a performer and not just someone who records and stays hidden. I’m naturally a pretty hermitic person”.

Photography by WDRKMR (Alexander Iezzi & Jordan Robin)

“Sometimes inspiration hits me out of nowhere, like a crush, you know? And I just become obsessed with something without really knowing much about it, or him, or her, and I follow that inspiration wherever it leads.”

Photography by WDRKMR (Alexander Iezzi & Jordan Robin)

Wolfe is a maestro at being convincingly haunting. From the whited-out eyes on the cover of her sophomore album, to its terrifying assault of an opening track, she wallows in her darkest impulses like an obsessed horror movie director. The tension in her music and the grime that covers her vocals hints at a complete eschewing of the comfortable and safe confines of music and melody.

Completely enamored are we of the darkness she conjures; this is one talented, individual lass carving her very unique niche. We’ll be keeping our ‘lectric eye on you, Miss Wolfe.

For your vleasure, Chelsea Wolfe’s “Mer” from Ἀποκάλυψις, Directed by Zev Deans.

* Wolfe’s quotes above are drawn from interviews Chelsea did with Dossier and Pitchfork



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