Chelsea Wolfe's latest album, She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She, embodies a transformative journey. It explores the profound interconnection between our past, present, and future, symbolizing a process of rebirth.
On Chelsea Wolfe's new album, She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She, the listener is transported into a world where shedding exoskeletons, navigating excommunication, and traversing permanent fissures are not just lyrical motifs but profound existential explorations. Liminal spaces, the in-between, and the unseen weave themselves into the fabric of this album like recurring characters, as if beckoning the audience to delve deeper into the mysteries that lie within.
As Wolfe eloquently puts it, "like the dark moon, that void space can feel unpredictable and looming, but it also holds so much potential, mystery, and excitement." This sentiment encapsulates the dense yet minimal, raw yet opulent, intimate yet expansive production style that defines the album. Tracks break apart and rebuild themselves, with samples of the band cut and pasted back together, heavy guitars seamlessly dissolving into trip-hop breaks, and Wolfe's vocal delivery oscillating between hushed whispers and soaring crescendos.
For the album, Wolfe collaborated closely with longtime partners multi-instrumentalist Ben Chisholm, drummer Jess Gowrie, and guitarist Bryan Tulao to craft the initial songwriting. Despite the challenges posed by remote work during the 2020 and 2021, Wolfe and her collaborators meticulously workshopped the compositions, laying the groundwork for what was to come.
Enter producer and TV On The Radio co-founder Dave Sitek, who played a pivotal role in deconstructing and reconstructing the compositions, pushing the boundaries of the songs into uncharted territories. The final touches were masterfully executed by mixing engineer Shawn Everett, who blended the fine details of Wolfe's vocals into the lush sonic landscape with a sense of urgency and excitement, while preserving the delicate nuances of its production.
This fearless experimentation is nothing new for Wolfe, whose artistic journey has seen her traverse genres and invent her own hybrids since her 2010 debut, The Grime and the Glow. From the pulsing electronics of "Pain Is Beauty" to the folk-industrial fusion of "Abyss" and the raw heaviness of "Hiss Spun," Wolfe's evolution as an artist is a testament to her willingness to explore uncharted sonic territories. Through it all, she guides the listener on a journey of self-exploration, urging them to confront their inner demons and embrace the transformative power of personal growth.
As the album draws to a close with the towering psychedelic guitar epic of "Dusk," Wolfe leaves us with a poignant reminder: the path forward is through introspection and self-discovery. In "Tunnel Lights," she beckons us to awaken from the darkness and embrace the guiding lights that lead us towards enlightenment.