“Sargent House takes great care of their bands and is really supportive of art so I feel lucky to be a part of it.”
About to embark on a European Tour, with two dates in Ireland, Chelsea Wolfe is not the kind of sound one expects to associate with a label like Sargent House. Playing host to Irish acts like Adebisi Shank and And So I Watch You From Afar, among other considerably heavier sounding international artists.
Wolfe’s latest offering, the nine-song “Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs” is her clearest emergence from the veil and shadows that obscured her earlier work. As the album’s subtitle promises, it’s stark, but also in tune with her gothic sound; she’s accompanied by viola, violin, piano and analog synths. Her voice still conjures warped mirrors and molten candle wax, even when resounding in a room alone.
Describing it herself, Wolfe looks upon her own sound as bipolar or as having multiple personalities. “I don’t like to stick to one genre and I like to experiment. I’m interested in contrasting reality and something more arcane… Death is something that haunts me, as a character and concept, so the subject makes its way into a lot of my music.”
“Unknown Rooms” is a far cry from what we can expect from Chelsea Wolfe in the coming year when Wolfe will deliver her fourth album, which will expand upon the acoustic record’s themes. 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
“It was a way for us to bring together a lot of unreleased acoustic songs and while we did that I ended up writing new acoustic songs so they all live together on that album.”
Shifting herself from Northern California down to LA hasn’t changed her outlook on music though, influences aren’t based on location for Wolfe, but life experiences. “Living in LA has allowed me more time and space and energy to work on my music, but my influences come from the same place as when I lived in Northern California. Life, death, love, nature, cinema, books.”
Visually Chelsea Wolfe is known for her artwork and consistently updated website where her image considerably changes. “I work with a photographer (an old friend) named Kristin Cofer a lot (photo above by her). We’ve worked together for so many years that now we’re just comfortable experimenting and trying out ideas with photos and visuals.”
Whether she brings these visuals across in her live set is yet to be seen but the photos she associates with her music tell a story as much as her lyricism. A concept found on the cover of her acoustic album, a narrative found throughout her career. “For the ‘Unknown Rooms’ cover we rented a room at an old sort of abandoned hotel in the bay area of California that used to be a brothel. Each room is named after a different woman who used to live and work there and it feels very full (sic) of energy and stories.
Chelsea Wolfe plays the Sugar Club on April 24th as part of her European Tour.
SEE ALL CHELSEA WOLFE TOUR DATES HERE