Josh T. Romero
Artist of the Decade
Artist of the Decade: A journey through life with Chelsea Wolfe
Chelsea Wolfe at Sister bar
It didn’t come as a surprise when Spotify dropped Chelsea Wolfe as my “Artist of the Decade”. No matter the mood, season, or time of day, there’s always an album to fit the mood. Chelsea Wolfe has been classified as dark folk, doom metal, goth rock, experimental, and “witchy”. The latter was overheard at one of her shows in Albuquerque while one friend was trying to describe her sound to another friend. I dig it.
Chelsea Wolfe has been dropping albums for a full decade now. Somewhere between 2013 and 2014, my cousin sent me the album “Pain is Beauty”. Like most of the music I get from him, I was in. Another great band to throw into the rotation. After listening to the album here and there, I doubled back to her acoustic album, Unknown Rooms. I think I can honestly say, that’s when I became a super fan. After countless replays of the opening song, “Flatlands”, it still makes me want to pack up my family and move to a desolate corner of the country, off the coast, and live off a farm, never looking back to the city lights and all of the wonderful things it may have to offer…
Her first release “The Grime And The Glow” hit the world with a dark, witchy, DIY sound that holds up in a way that I find inspiring in my own pursuit of music. She’s stated on the Strombo Show that this wasn’t actually her first album. She had made one in 2006 and trashed it because it wasn’t what she wanted to make. “Looking back, it was a little too personal, a little too overly lyrical.” This may be my inner hoarder coming out, but I can’t imagine scrapping a full album. So much work goes into writing and recording a single song, but at the end of the day, if it’s not what you want, there’s no reason to keep it, especially if that thing carries your voice and your name. Hearing her say that gave me so much peace of mind, knowing that somebody at her level had to go through a long process to discover her sound. I find her music inspirational and so much different than anything else I listen to. Some come close to her style, but I think that part of the reason that so many genres can cling to the band’s sound is due to her experimental process, and the time she took to build and curate those witchy vibes.
Chelsea Wolfe at Sister bar
The atmosphere built throughout each album is something I aspire to. They’re all amazing, and they’re all different. If you’re looking to give something new, dark and witchy a try, it all depends on your current music preferences. If you’re coming from a heavy metal background, start with Abyss and Hiss Spun. If you’re coming from a calmer end of the spectrum, start with her latest release, Birth of Violence and Unknown Rooms. Chelsea Wolfe is not for everybody, but she could your next artist of the decade.