Chelsea Wolfe has always been a conduit for a powerful energy, and while she has demonstrated a capacity to channel that somber beauty into a variety of forms, her gift as a songwriter is never more apparent than when she strips her songs down to a few key elements. Today she has released her gripping and reflective new single “Anhedonia”, which features guest vocals and guitar from label mate Emma Ruth Rundle and was mixed by Ben Chisholm.
Of the single, Wolfe reveals, “I wrote Anhedonia after I experienced it during summer of 2019, then tucked the song away and moved forward with my acoustic album and subsequent North American tour. When COVID-19 hit and stay-at-home orders began in 2020, my European tour was canceled and I had to fly home. Restless, I started listening through my archives of unfinished songs and little unused ideas. When I heard Anhedonia again, it hit me how strangely relevant the lyrics felt to current times. I’d been wanting to work on a song with Emma for a long time, so I recorded it and sent it her way. She graciously added her gorgeous vocals and lead guitar, and then Ben mixed it, adding his signature sound landscape as a fortress around the song. As I listened back to the final version, I was finally able to set free those emotions which I couldn’t feel back in 2019. I had worries around releasing the song, not wanting to romanticise the condition of anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure), but I also understood that it could possibly be cathartic for others who are struggling, as it was for me, to sing and dance my way out of a depression.”
Rundle adds, “I was moved to tears when she sent me Anhedonia, which made getting through the tracking very emotional and slow on my end. I love the way the guitars I tracked morphed in Ben’s mix. The whole song swirls in a poignant eddy of sorrowful sound and still takes a hard swing at my heart hearing it now.”
“Anhedonia” is available across all digital retailers today via Sargent House.
Chelsea Wolfe has spent her career making music that’s as fascinating as it is undefinable. Built on seven studio albums and numerous tours of consistently powerful performances around the globe, Wolfe’s work has transformed itself repeatedly throughout her 10-year career. Her earlier records exposed the intimacy of folk music with a doomed, bleak aesthetic (The Grime and the Glow, Apokalypsis, Unknown Rooms). She later immersed herself in a sonic intensity approaching the electronic industrial (Pain Is Beauty, Abyss), sludge metal (Hiss Spun) and on her latest (Birth of Violence), Wolfe masterfully returned to her folk roots. Although her approaches are experimental, she deliberately ties together her discoveries in rich textures and haunting melodies, digging into the viciousness and pain of the world to find its beauty.