REVEALS NEW SINGLE + VIDEO “BE ALL THINGS”
BIRTH OF VIOLENCE OUT SEPT 13 ON SARGENT HOUSE
UPCOMING NORTH AMERICAN ACOUSTIC FALL TOUR + THE CURE’S PASADENA DAYDREAM FESTIVAL
The spellbinding new album from Chelsea Wolfe is out in just under a month and today she has given us another glimpse of her more folk leaning sound. Her new single, “Be All Things” is an emotional journey and shows Wolfe at the top of her songwriting game.
Of the track, Chelsea Wolfe says “Be All Things” is about navigating the world as a woman: reconciling the soft and the strong, balancing the warrior and the goddess, and wanting to be everything and nothing at the same time. Telling stories through song allows me to explore so many facets of myself; so many lives within. Some days I want to be quiet and reach my roots into the earth, and some days I want to spring up from the ground and be all things.”
“The video is a culmination of footage taken in a few magical locations” says Wolfe. “Around southwestern Iceland, while shooting the Birth of Violence album cover, inside Moaning Cavern in Northern California – a marble cavern 450 feet deep that I visited as a child and sang in as an adult, sending my voice out as heavy as I could against the powerful dampness and sparkles of the ancient cave walls. A special spot in nature not far from my home where the Manzanita grows up like a red and green tunnel, and a historic California hotel from the Victorian era where many from the past rested their heads”.
Wolfe will be embarking on an extensive, acoustic North American tour this fall starting with a special performance at Pasadena Daydream Festival with her full band. All tour dates are listed below.
Birth Of Violence is out September 13th on Sargent House. Pre-order Here.
Chelsea Wolfe Acoustic Tour:
08/31: Pasadena, CA – Pasadena Daydream Festival * (Non Acoustic Set)
10/18: San Diego, CA – Observatory North Park
10/19: Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
10/21: Salt Lake City, UT – Metro Music Hall
10/22: Estes Park, CO – Stanley Hotel
10/24: Chicago, IL – Metro
10/25: Detroit, MI – Senate Theater
10/26: Toronto, ONT – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
10/27: Montreal, QC – Le National
10/29: Boston, MA – Royale
10/31: Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
11/01: New York, NY – Brooklyn Steel
11/03: Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
11/04: Charlotte, NC – McGlohon Theater
11/05: Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
11/06: Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
11/08: Dallas, TX – Texas Theatre
11/09: Austin, TX – Levitation
11/10: Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall
11/12: Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf
11/13: Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
11/15: Los Angeles, CA – The Palace Theatre
11/16: San Francisco, CA – Regency Ballroom
11/18: Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
11/20: Seattle, WA – The Showbox
11/21: Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre
All dates with special guest Ioanna Gika except 8/31
Early Praise for Birth Of Violence:
“Her new sound may be folksier than her earlier, heavy metal-inspired work, but it’s no less goth.” Rolling Stone
“[Chelsea Wolfe] wanders a desolate, genre-fluid land where goth, metal, folk and post-rock mingle…” LA Times
“Chelsea Wolfe is a singer-songwriter as distinctive as she is compelling — her sound is folk music that carries the stench of sulfur, like it was written on a guitar made from the wood of a tree struck by lightning.” The FADER
“[“The Mother Road”] is a detour from the more haunting atmospheres Chelsea Wolfe typically channels, embracing a cold minimalist approach that layers on the intensity as it unfolds.” Loudwire
“[“The Mother Road” is] a gorgeously stirring meditation on epiphanies and transformations…” Revolver
“One listen to album opener and lead single “The Mother Road” should quell any fears she’s dropped her expansive sound. It’s an ode to Americana’s most familiar ribbon of highway—Route 66—and starts humbly enough, her folky inspirations apparent in guitar strums. The track slowly unfurls into a call to arms, ending with booming drums and gothic strings.” Paste
“A bass drum pounds behind Wolfe as she sings about a much-needed wake up call, her voice growing in strength and tremor as the track progresses. Eventually, violins drone behind her in a creepy key. [“The Mother Road” is] simultaneously unnerving and soothing.” Consequence of Sound
“Ominous…this only goes to prove that Wolfe is still very much evolving as an artist and nailing it every step of the way.” Metal Injection
“[“The Mother Road”] starts off bare-bones, but evolves into something much bigger-sounding. It’s great stuff…” Brooklyn Vegan
“…for “The Mother Road,” [Chelsea Wolfe] reinvents herself once again as a doom-folk earth goddess… the music itself, which opens with isolated vocals and strummed acoustic guitar Ã la PJ Harvey before a chorus of pounding drums and luminous cymbals rolls in like a thunderstorm, punctuated by jolts of feedback-laden guitar literally crackling with electricity. While the music technically errs on the acoustic side, there’s nothing soft about Wolfe’s terrible and awe-inspiring invocation.” A.V. Club
1 – The Mother Road
2 – American Darkness
3 – Birth of Violence
4 – Deranged for Rock & Roll
5 – Be All Things
6 – Erde
7 – When Anger Turns to Honey
8 – Dirt Universe
9 – Little Grave
10 – Preface to a Dream Play
11 – Highway
Chelsea Wolfe has always been a conduit for a powerful energy, and while she has demonstrated a capacity to channel that somber beauty into a variety of forms, her gift as a songwriter is never more apparent than when she strips her songs down to a few key elements. As a result, her solemn majesty and ominous elegance are more potent than ever on Birth of Violence.
There is a core element to Chelsea Wolfe’s music—a kind of urgent spin on America’s desolation blues—that’s existed throughout the entirety of her career. It manifested in the lo-fi bedroom recording experiments of her debut album The Grime and the Glow (2010), the electrified dirges of Apokalypsis (2011) and Hiss Spun (2017), the electronic embellishments and distorted growl of albums like Pain is Beauty (2013) and Abyss (2015), and the sparse acoustic arrangements of Unknown Rooms (2012). At the center, there has always been Wolfe’s woeful longing and beguiling gravity, though the framework for compositions has continuously evolved based on whatever resources were available. Her austere beginnings were gradually bolstered by electronics and filled out with full-band arrangements. The music became increasingly dense and more centered around live performances. And while these lush recordings have in many ways magnified her power, the elaborate renditions create a dichotomy given the private and isolated nature of her art. Her latest album, Birth of Violence, is a return to the reclusive nature of her earlier recordings, written and recorded in the solitude of her remote home in Northern California.
“I’ve been in a state of constant motion for the past eight years or so; touring, moving, playing new stages, exploring new places and meeting new people—an incredible time of learning and growing as a musician and performer,” Wolfe says of the era leading up to Birth of Violence. “But after awhile, I was beginning to lose a part of myself. I needed to take some time away from the road to get my head straight, to learn to take better care of myself, and to write and record as much as I can while I have ‘Mercury in my hands,’ as a wise friend put it.“ Birth of Violence is the result of this step out of the limelight. The songs stem from humble beginnings—little more than Wolfe’s voice and her Taylor acoustic guitar. Her longtime musical collaborator Ben Chisholm recorded the songs in the home studio and helped fill them out with his modern production treatments and the occasional auxiliary flourish from ongoing contributors Jess Gowrie (drums) and Ezra Buchla (viola). While it’s tempting to draw a comparison to Wolfe’s acoustic collection Unknown Rooms, Birth of Violence is a far cry from the unplugged nature of that album. Instead, it feels like an exploration of one of Wolfe’s strongest facets—her ties to the American singer-songwriter tradition.
The album opens with “The Mother Road,” a harrowing ode to Route 66 that immediately addresses Wolfe’s metaphoric white line fever. It explains the nature of the record—the impact of countless miles and perpetual exhaustion—and the desire to find the road back home, back to one’s roots. Songs like “Deranged for Rock & Roll” and “Highway” offers parallel examinations on the trials and tribulations of her journeys while the ghostly “When Anger Turns to Honey” serves as a rebuttal to self-appointed judges. Wolfe sees these ordeals as a part of a musical tradition, and rather than using her music as a confessional or diary, she tethers her experiences to age-old themes. She touches upon the original transcontinental travellers crisscrossing the country on state highways in search of some new kick, the psychedelic caravans on a mission to Further, and the vagabond busker whose home is both everywhere and nowhere.
While the record touches upon tradition, it also exists in the present, addressing modern tragedies such as school shootings in the minor-key lullaby “Little Grave” and the poisoning of the planet on the dark wind-swept ballad “Erde.” But the record is at its most poignant when Wolfe withdraws into her own world of enigmatic and elusive autobiography. Much like Alan Ginsberg’s hallucinatory long-form poem Howl, the tracks “Dirt Universe” and “Birth of Violence” weave together specific references from her past into an esoteric overview of the state of mankind. The songs describe an internal awakening of feminine energy, a connection to the maternal spirit of the Earth, and a defiant stance against the destructive and controlling forces of a greedy and hostile patriarchy. Though the lyrical minutiae remain secret, the overall power of the language and delivery is bound to haunt the listener with both its grace and tension. In keeping with the general approach of the album, it thrives by culling from the familiar language of American country and folk music while setting it within Chisholm’s scenic soundscapes.
Every Chelsea Wolfe album introduces new unorthodox textures and approaches, and the trajectory of her creative arc has generally aimed for larger and more imposing sounds, but Birth of Violence deliberately alters that course in favor of a more intimate atmosphere. “These songs came to me in a whirlwind and I knew I needed to record them soon, and also really needed a break from the road,” Wolfe says. “I’ve spent the past few years looking for the feeling of home; looking for places that felt like home. That was the initial inspiration to record it on our own—between Ben and I, we had all the tools and instruments to capture what we wanted to create.” The result of that humble approach yields Wolfe’s most devastating work to date. Sargent House is proud to offer Birth of Violence to the world on CD/LP and digital formats on September 13, 2019.