Like a siren of the sea, Chelsea Wolfe guides listeners into her world with her enchanting voice. Heavy undertones on strings and drums provide grounds for Wolfe’s vocals to sweep in and carry you from one song to the next.
“For me it’s comforting to contrast dark themes and sounds with something lighter and more hopeful, which, often times ends up being the way I’m singing,” Wolfe said, describing her vocal style. “The first singer or band to inspire me was Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac. My dad was always covering his songs. I really loved Lindsey’svoice and the control he had over it and the way it moved.”
Wolfe grew up in California with a father in a country band. She was born into music, and most kids tend to try their hand at something that is within arm’s reach.
“I was writing songs over simple piano or Casio beats as a kid — cover songs,” Wolfe recalled. “In high school, I learned how to play the guitar, so I was doing a lot of folk music—singer/songwriter stuff. Eventually I was experimenting with other instruments, acappella, whatever I could get my hands on.”
Wolfe’s music is reflective of her experimental nature. She doesn’t seem attached to one genre, and that comes through in her debut album, “The Grime and the Glow.” After completing a European tour with a friend’s band, Wolfe was ready to put her ideas and experiments on tape.
“I was just a resident musician who would play acoustic songs at the end of the shows,” she said. “I came back from that inspired to record “Grime & Glow” on my 8-track. I find that it has a raw edge to it.”
Her second record, “Apokalypsis,” is more focused, capturing the sound of the pack of musicians Wolfe had been playing with consistently.
Wolfe’s vocals collaborate with sweeping string accompaniments in her newest album, “Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Sounds.” It’s available for free listening over at http://chelseawolfe.bandcamp.com/. The track “Appalachia” is a stunning depiction of the deeply moving sounds Wolfe and her bandmates are able to create with minimal electronic input.
“When I started working with Sargent House this year, they enjoyed all these acoustic folk songs that I’d never done anything with,” Wolfe said. “They suggested I actually do an album with these songs. With my bandmate Ben Chisholm, we re-approached a lot of the older songs — a couple of them we left in their original forms, recorded a bunch of new ones.”
The result is a seamless voyage of conflict and resolution from start to finish. Wolfe’s voice guides the wanderer over a series of strings to a familiar destination of hope and harmony.
Wolfe is currently on a North American tour with an early show lined up for 7 p.m. on Jan. 31 at the Spanish Moon in Baton Rouge. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or at ticketweb (http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=3263474).