California native Chelsea Wolfe has always embodied light and dark. Her music is a raw, dirging doom-folk with hints of black metal, deep blues and minimal synthesizer music, but it’s as prone to triumph as it is despair. Her voice is both haunting and seemingly haunted, though whether by angels or demons is unclear. And her lyrics reflect an obsession not only with life’s murkier moments, but the unlikely truths and beauty they so often reveal. It makes sense then that she hails from the wilder, woodsy northern part of her state. Wolfe’s hometown was a small unspecified burg amidst the trees, idyllic by day and begging exploration, but forbidding once the fog crept in. Her skewed romanticism began early. At 9, she started sneaking into her father’s home studio to record warped covers and goth-R&B originals. But growing up, she never shared her music. It wasn't until recently she considered making music for others to hear.
After a stint abroad with a nomadic performance troupe playing cathedrals, basements and old nuclear factories, Wolfe returned home inspired. She began toting around an 8-track and recording as the mood hit, eventually winding up with the songs that would become her stunning 2010 debut, The Grime & the Glow. Described as both healing and harrowing, enchanting and narcotic, the album established Wolfe as an elemental force on the rise. Just as telling were a pair of cover songs — the timeless “You Are My Sunshine” and a deep cut from Norwegian metal icon Burzum — that in her capable hands managed to sound equally burnt and terrifying. Drawn to Los Angeles’ unique mix of gloss and grit, she moved to the city late last year and recorded her second album, Ἀποκάλυψις (pronounced “apokalypsis”), out on Pendu Sound Recordings in 2011. Chelsea Wolfe’s name exploded in the music world after pop artist Richard Phillips used her song “Moses” in his newest art-film starring Sasha Grey which premiered at the Venice Biennale in June of this year.
(Chris Martins, Spin/LA Weekly/Aural Standards)