|Chelsea Wolfe — Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs (2012)|
Chelsea Wolfe — Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs
Location: Los Angeles
Album release: October 16, 2012
Record Label: Sargent House
1 Flatlands 4:01
2 The Way We Used To 2:48
3 Spinning Centers 3:09
4 Appalachia 3:11
5 I Died With You 0:32
6 Boyfriend 3:52
7 Our Work Was Good 1:53
8 Hyper Oz 2:33
9 Sunstorm 2:56
• ALL SONGS WRITTEN BY CHELSEA WOLFE © 2012, EXCEPT WHERE NOTED
• PRODUCED & RECORDED BY BEN CHISHOLM & CHELSEA WOLFE IN CALIFORNIA
• CHELSEA WOLFE — GUITAR, VOCALS
• BEN CHISHOLM — DRUMS, ANALOG SYNTHS, PIANO, ADDITIONAL VOCALS
• EZRA BUCHLA — VIOLA (APPALACHIA, SPINNING CENTERS)
• ANDREA CALDERON — VIOLIN (FLATLANDS)
• DANIEL DENTON — BASS (THE WAY WE USED TO, APPALACHIA, OUR WORK WAS GOOD)
• JERE WOLFE — ADDITIONAL GUITAR (OUR WORK WAS GOOD)
• PHOTOGRAPHY — KRISTIN COFER
• MANAGEMENT — CATHY PELLOW
• LABEL — SARGENT HOUSE
Main manager: CATHY PELLOW: CATHY@SARGENTHOUSE.COM By Gregory Adams
• Right around the time that Chelsea Wolfe announced some tour dates with Russian Circles, the doomy folkster also delivered news that two new albums were on their way sometime soon. The first record, we were told, would be an acoustic outing, which has now been revealed as Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs. The unplugged affair arrives October 16 through Sargent House.
• As previously reported, the nine~song LP of “once~orphaned songs” was recorded in the woods of Northern California and at Wolfe’s L.A. home. The set was co~produced by Wolfe and bandmember Ben Chisholm, and features contributions from viola player Ezra Buchla (Gowns), violinist Andrea Calderón (Corima) and bassist Daniel Denton (Gothic Tropic).
• You can stream album cut “The Way We Used To,” a goth~blues chant built around passionate vocal layering and a hypnotic drum beat, down below, where you’ll also find the record’s tracklisting and Wolfe’s tour upcoming tour dates, which include a few Canadian stops.
• Despite getting the details on Unknown Rooms, Wolfe has yet to fully reveal the plans for the follow~up, a supposedly electronic~geared outing set to be produced by Lars Stalfors (the Mars Volta, Marnie Stern). By Lars Gotrich (www.npr.org)
≈ I’m usually a fan of “between” albums — the ones that break away from an artist's established sound, either tentatively or extravagantly, exploring the extremes of inspiration. These records are often misunderstood upon immediate release, but offer clues to an artist’s discography over time. Tim Buckley had a couple of these (Blue Afternoon, Happy Sad) before entirely leaving pretty~boy folk for out~there jazz~rock, while Current 93’s Thunder Perfect Mind was only the tip of the industrial~turned~apocalyptic~folk iceberg. Without the benefit of hindsight, Chelsea Wolfe's forthcoming Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs feels like it will provide the unexpected link between last year’s excellent Apocalypsis and 2013's reportedly more electronic record.
≈ Since 2009, Wolfe has mixed electric blues and folk with an eye on the dark side. Stripping her sound down to acoustic guitar and strings, her third album contains “once~orphaned” songs with only the essential elements. But to say that Unknown Rooms is simply Wolfe’s “acoustic record” is misleading; it’s every bit as ethereal and haunting as past work that mines the darkness of artists like Burzum and Leonard Cohen in one breath. It’s just that now we’re in the same room, sharing her desolation and desire.
≈ Moaned like a warped Southern gospel hymn, “The Way We Used To” opens with Chelsea Wolfe’s voice — and she’s got soul like she’s just lost a part of it. Operating at a funereal pace, the gently swinging brushed drums trail behind Wolfe’s mourning, sounding as if they were recorded in a lost hallway. The same goes for the lilting electric guitar somewhere in the background, barely heard over the hurt. It’s a simple song, but it gets at the more “songwriterly” approach of an album which spans the acoustic spectrum, from sweet love songs to the stately neo~folk of Sol Invictus to OK Computer’s eerie calm.
≈ Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs comes out Oct. 16 on Sargent House. Chelsea Wolfe is currently on tour with Russian Circles.
≈ Northern California native Chelsea Wolfe’s sound is best described with broad strokes: elemental, intense, radiant, ancient yet modern, intimate yet expansive, dark and sparkling. Hues of black metal and deep blues inform her ever~evolving electric folk — a warm force that wraps itself around the listener, encouraging uplift, seeking triumph. Her voice similarly haunts and soothes, with words that illuminate life’s darker corners in order to reveal the unlikely truth and beauty hidden within.
In a way, Wolfe is on a journey to the surface of her own music. 2012 finds releasing her first acoustic emanation on Sargent House, a collection of once~orphaned songs given a home. The experience is a secret shared, a side of the singer rarely seen or heard, and the making was as intimate as it gets: recorded in the woods of Northern California and at Wolfe’s L.A. home, co~produced by her bandmate Ben Chisholm, with players Ezra Buchla of Gowns (viola), Andrea Calderón of Corima (violin) and Daniel Denton of Gothic Tropic (bass).
≈ In 2013, Wolfe will deliver her as~yet~untitled official third album, which will expand upon the acoustic record’s themes: the elements and natural disasters, humanity, love, desolation. At the same time, the new full~length will mark a significant change as Wolfe and Chisholm (who makes glitched goth~soul as Revelator) bring more electronic elements into the fold. The LP will also feature the other members of Wolfe’s live wrecking crew, guitarist Kevin Dockter and drummer Dylan Fujioka.
≈ Disparate as these two developments are, they perfectly embody Wolfe’s growth as an artist — the inside turning outward, her recent European outing and August U.S. tour with Russian Circles providing an apt contrast to her more cloistered childhood. Her rare romanticism began early, but it was always a private affair. At 9, she’d watch her father playing country music and sneak into his home studio to record skewed keyboard covers (The NeverEnding Story theme was a favorite) and originals.
Wolfe long lacked the confidence to share her work, but in 2009 she embarked on a three-month stint abroad with a nomadic performance troupe. After performing in cathedrals, basements and old nuclear plants to whoever would listen, she returned home with a new drive. She began toting around an 8~track and recording as the mood hit, eventually editing her findings into 2010′s stunner LP, The Grime & the Glow. Described as both healing and harrowing, enchanting and narcotic, the album established Wolfe as a force on the rise.
≈ Inspired, Wolfe then relocated to Los Angeles and recorded her second album, 2011′s Apokalypsis LP, which found her in an actual studio. The songs captured therein maintained the strikingly visceral elements of her debut. Praise came for the record’s revelatory dirges and cavernous sound, and moreover for Wolfe’s newly showcased songwriting chops. Her onward march through music only seems to deepen the experience. Whether stripped bare or fully backed, Wolfe carries a serious heaviness of sound offset by that ever~present counterweight: transcendence of spirit.
|helsea Wolfe — Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs (2012)|