Chelsea Wolfe - At Roadburn 12 inch
This year’s breakout Roadburn success had to be the enigmatic LA folk doom-weaver Chelsea Wolfe whose 2011 album Apokalypsis earned her more than her fair share of fans, many of them in the metal community. Indeed, Chelsea Wolfe was probably the last person on Earth who expected to have a large following of hairy, stoned men but her appearance at Roadburn (to a sizeable crowd) and the fact that her set is now being released as a limited edition vinyl is testament to her truly breathtaking collection of ghostly songs.
Creeping-in spectre-like with the beautiful ‘Halfsleeper’ from her debut album The Grime and the Glow, it’s clear that Chelsea has the audience encapsulated from the off, her simple guitar work allowing her commanding voice to take centre stage to deliver the songs’ incredibly dark lyrics. It’s a bold start to her set, one that really puts her out there by herself before the band kicks in towards the end, seguing into the more-familiar trip-hop shuffle of ‘Movie Screen’ from Apokalypsis.
The fast-paced ‘Demons’ follows before the fantastic, tumultuous waking-dream of ‘Mer’ closes side A. At this point it’s impossible not to be won-over by the strength of the songs and the quality of the performances – ‘Tracks (Tall Bodies)’ opens side B, the keyboards shimmying elegantly beneath the guitars and Wolfe’s darkly romantic vocals: “We could be two straight lines/ In a crooked world.”