Album review: Chelsea Wolfe – She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She

Chelsea Wolfe spirals out of the darkness within on stunning seventh album She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She…

Album review: Chelsea Wolfe – She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She
Sam Law

Chelsea Wolfe is cutting ties on her spine-tingling seventh album. She’s drawing lines in the sand. She’s shedding her skin. Fourteen years since stepping out of the shadows to blaze the trail for a whole generation of gothy, doomy, folky new experimental musicians with groundbreaking debut The Grime And The Glow, the Californian singer-songwriter is taking stock of the emotional wear she’s endured the time in-between to refresh, readjust and reinvent in eerily spectacular style.

“It’s a record about the past self reaching out to the present self reaching out to the future self, to summon change, growth, and guidance,” Chelsea unpacks She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She’s mind-bending, three-pronged title. “It’s a story of setting yourself free.”

True to that, these 10 songs may be the most creatively adventurous of her career: towering monuments to melancholy and uncertainty amidst a sweeping, shapeshifting soundscape.

Whispers In The Echo Chamber is an exercise in nightmare ASMR, its combination of minimalist electro and gouging guitars both defiantly dissonant and weirdly inviting. Tunnel Lights swells and subsides through a distended jazz-metal miasma. Mid-album pivot Eyes Like Nightshade drifts tentatively from of a din of pulsing synths and jangling percussion. Then the penultimate Place In The Sun blindsides with beauty, basking in the contrast of its own yearning simplicity.

It’s the glimpses into the suffering on which that dark allure is built that really exhilarate here, though. The clattering industrial of House Of Self Undoing captures the pressure and disorientation of getting sober after years of intoxication on the road. Everything Turns Blue reckons on the pain and confusion of finally extricating oneself from a toxic situation. And the sensual build of Dusk promises that life is darkest before the dawn.

Because, ultimately, this album is a promise that as brilliantly beguiling as Chelsea Wolfe has always been, her big picture is still coming into focus...

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: GGGOLDDD, Nine Inch Nails, A.A. Williams

She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She is released on February 9 via Loma Vista

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