Artist of the Week: Chelsea Wolfe
Chelsea Wolfe is an American singer-songwriter known for her unsettling fusion of drone-metal and art-folk, characterized by austere and atmospheric soundscapes, experimental guitar textures and deep-reverbed vocals. She is also one of the rare contemporary artists to turn covers into a genuine art, transforming cuts as disparate as Burzum’s “Black Spell of Destruction”, The Strokes’ “The Modern Age” or Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotyze” into powerful demonstrations of her unique musical vision.
Wolfe’s first two records, 2010’s The Grime and The Glow and 2011’s Apokalypsis, immediately gained her a cult following, critical praise and invitations from extreme and doomy bands such as Sun O))), Boris or Swans to open their live shows. She took a left turn the following year with Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs, a more introspective, stark and subdued affair focused on the fragility and versatility of her voice and whose ghostly rawness deserved acute comparisons to P.J. Harvey.
Though her new album, Pain is Beauty, is a decided return to the emotional exhaustion and cavernous dynamics of her fists records, it definitely stages a more mature take on the synesthetic qualities of her music and definitely propels Chelsea Wolfe as one of the most original and fascinating Goth figures of the 21st Century.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.