Chelsea Wolfe – Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs
Spooky, ethereal and haunting, Chelsea Wolfe crafts a lucid selection of songs that are stripped down and visceral. Her voice matches perfectly the acoustic instrumentation and creates an atmosphere one wouldn’t want to be in. Her dark, moody world is generated by apparent deep-rooted despair (that, or she just knows how to make incredibly despondent music). Audibly striking, Wolfe uses all of the melancholy she can muster and places it gently onto these nine tracks.
‘Flatlands’ opens and welcomes the hazy acoustic instruments to her mind, spitting out envious lyrics: “I want flatlands, I don’t want precious stones / I never cared about anything you’ve ever owned / I want flatlands / I want simplicity / I need your arms wrapped hard around me.” As the track gets more and more sinister in nature, Wolfe draws you into her head with her intensity of her words and pleads you go with her.
‘The Way We Used To Be’ is a stellar, spellbinding song, starting with harmonies of bluesy moans. Her voice, bouncing with the spaciously unnerving bass, rises and falls from falsetto to her normal delivery with incredible range and preciseness. Her lyrics are masterful, explaining how the love she had isn’t the same. The instrumentation is top notch, gyrating back and forth with the harmony, but the track is just too short and leaves you wanting.
Her voice is so minimal and quiet that you are just taken in to listen and then smitten with it. Or possessed. In just 25 minutes, Wolfe brings you into her world and immerses you in it.
‘I Died With You’ is an intense 32-second short with high-arching harmonies that is mesmerizing. ‘Boyfriend’ is another haunting tale, featuring a trippy synth line to die for. ‘Our Work Was Good’ sounds like a very reserved folk-ish track with typical floaty vocals and overtones of bass that ominously thunder in the background. ‘Sunstorm’ reminds me of Joy Division’s ‘Interzone’, with the two different vocal deliveries bouncing back and forth.
Chelsea Wolfe, in previous efforts, emitted darkness and dread with many different influences and sounds. On this release, she strips it all down and leaves herself on the table, bare-bones and all. Creating more and more mysticism and symbolism within these acoustic tracks, she skillfully creates one of the most jarring and interesting releases of 2012.