Click here to expand and collapse the player

Chelsea Wolfe

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (18 ratings)
  • Chelsea Wolfe

  • Chelsea Wolfe

  • Chelsea Wolfe

  • Chelsea Wolfe

  • Chelsea Wolfe

  • Chelsea Wolfe


Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

Crafting "doom-drenched electric folk," Los Angeles' Chelsea Wolfe brings a foreboding feel to songs as disparate as "You Are My Sunshine" and album tracks by Norwegian black metal icon Burzum. Wolfe grew up in Northern California with a father who had a country band and his own home studio, so she was immersed in music at an early age and began recording herself at age nine; by the time she was in fourth grade, she knew she wanted to be a singer. However, it wasn't until 2009, when she returned from a three-month tour with a performance artist friend in spaces including old nuclear factories, that she began making music for others to hear. Wolfe recorded with her friends on a portable eight-track, the results of which became her 2010 debut album, The Grime and the Glow. Wolfe also contributed a radically different version of the Strokes' "The Modern Age" to a tribute to the band curated by Stereogum.com, and her song "Moses" was used to soundtrack artist/director Richard Phillips' short film Sasha Grey. After moving to L.A., Wolfe recorded her second album, Apokalypsis, in a proper studio, working with musicians including Ben Chisholm; it was released by Pendu Sound Recordings in August 2011. Wolfe took a few musicians, including Chisholm, into the Northern California woods to record Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs, which was released in October 2012. Prayer for the Unborn, her contribution to Southern Records' Latitudes EP series, arrived a few weeks later. Nearly a year later, Wolfe returned with the more electronic-leaning Pain Is Beauty, which featured Chisholm as a co-producer as well as the work of longtime bandmembers Kevin Dockter and Dylan Fujioka.


Chelsea Wolfe is an American singer-songwriter from Sacramento, California, currently based in Los Angeles. She is known for her "specific brand of drone-metal-art-folk", characterized by experimental guitar playing, hazy vocals, and surreal soundscapes.

Wolfe debuted with her album The Grime and The Glow (2010), released on an independent label, Pendu Sound Recording, followed by Apokalypsis (2011), which gained her recognition from indie critics as well as an underground following. In 2012, Wolfe released Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs (2012), which featured a more folk-oriented sound as opposed to her earlier work, which had been heavily centered on droning guitars and distortion.

On June 3, 2013, Pain Is Beauty, was announced as Wolfe's fourth studio album, set to be released September 3. An album trailer was released alongside this announcement, as well as a North American headlining tour in the fall. The song "Feral Love" was featured in a trailer of the fourth season of Game of Thrones.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Early life[edit]

Chelsea Wolfe grew up in Sacramento, California. Her father was in a country band and had a home studio, where by the age of nine, she wrote and recorded songs which she describes as, "basically Casio-based gothy R&B songs." Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).


In 2006, Wolfe composed an album, titled Mistake in Parting, which she called "embarrassingly bad". The album went unreleased, and Wolfe took a hiatus from writing music for several years. Wolfe debuted her first two albums, The Grime and The Glow (2010) and Apokalypsis (2011) on Pendu Sound Recordings, a New York-based independent music label. Apokalypsis garnered Wolfe critical acclaim, receiving favorable reviews in Pitchfork and CMJ. Wolfe has said she composed her first two albums on her mother's classical guitar, which was missing a tuning peg; as a result, the strings had to be tuned down, which was a stylistic element carried on to the studio recordings.

Wolfe toured extensively in North America and Europe to support both albums, and suffered from extreme stage fright, which she was able to overcome; when she initially began performing live, Wolfe would wear a black veil over her face. In 2012, Wolfe signed with Sargent House Records to release her third album. Wolfe's third album, Unknown Rooms: A Collection of Acoustic Songs was released on October 16, 2012, and was stylistically varied from her previous two albums, which were based around electric guitar. The acoustic album "contains 'once-orphaned' songs", according to Wolfe. On July 28, 2012, the first single, "The Way We Used To," was revealed on NPR. On September 20, the second single, "Appalachia," was revealed on The Fader.

Wolfe's fourth studio album, Pain Is Beauty, was released in September 2013, with a North American tour to support the album. Wolfe also contributed guest vocals to the American post-metal band Russian Circles' fifth studio album Memorial released in October 2013. Russian Circles and Chelsea Wolfe toured Europe together in late 2013.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Musical style and influences[edit]

Wolfe has cited an array of artists and specific genres as influences, including black metal and Scandinavian folk music, but has said: "I do have a hard time sticking to one genre, and honestly I prefer it that way. I'd rather be free to experiment and make the kind of art I want to make than be easy to define." Various critics have noted elements of doom, drone, black metal, gothic rock, folk and dark ambient in her music.

In regards to her vocals, Wolfe has said: "I think deep down I wish I had one of those really gritty voices like Kurt Cobain, so maybe I'm making up for it with distorted guitars."

Wolfe has also cited the visual elements of filmmaker Ingmar Bergman and photographer Nan Goldin as influences on her.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Music videos[edit]

more »

Tour Dates All Dates Dates In My Area

Date Venue Location Tickets
05.05.14 Aragon Ballroom Chicago, IL US
05.06.14 Roy Wilkins Auditorium Saint Paul, MN US
05.07.14 Riverside Theatre Milwaukee, WI US
05.09.14 Aragon Ballroom Chicago, IL US
05.10.14 Verizon Wireless Amphitheater St. Louis Maryland Heights, MO US
05.11.14 Central Iowa Expo Boone, IA US
05.13.14 Starlight Theatre Kansas City, MO US
05.16.14 Paramount Theatre Austin, TX US
05.17.14 House of Blues - Houston Houston, TX US
05.19.14 AT&T Performing Arts Center - Strauss Square Dallas, TX US

eMusic Features


Interview: Chelsea Wolfe

By Laura Studarus, Contributor

The cliché is this: It never rains in L.A. Tell that to Chelsea Wolfe. Over her previous three albums, the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter has ushered a few dark clouds into the region, indulging in her natural predilection for all things dark and mysterious. Her fourth album Pain is Beauty teases out these tendencies even further, blending ghostly strings, electronics, and the occasional industrial grind and shriek into a miasma that often veers towards the otherworldly.… more »


CMJ Report: Who Won the Week

By J. Edward Keyes, Editor-in-Chief

Over the course of the last several years, so much time and space has been given over to questioning the value and relevance of New York's CMJ Festival that it hardly seems worthwhile to repeat the process here. The festival - now in its third decade - still puts forth a serviceable lineup of bands for anyone interested enough in burning the better part of a week shuttling from one end of the city to… more »


Who Is…Chelsea Wolfe

By Stacey Anderson, Contributor

Chelsea Wolfe's morbid folk-metal records are like a one-woman rebuttal to the Los Angeles department of tourism: They capture her hometown in a surreal, sinister light of aggression and decay. But don't get her wrong — the California native loves her locale. "It's an inspiring place — a good place to get things done, a very forward-moving place," explains the young singer-songwriter. "The lighting here is really bright, but it's the kind of brightness where… more »

Video from YouTube

  • thumbnail from Chelsea Wolfe - "Flatlands" (Glassroom Sessions) Chelsea Wolfe - "Flatlands" (Glassroom Sessions)
  • thumbnail from Chelsea Wolfe - Pain Is Beauty ALBUM REVIEW Chelsea Wolfe - Pain Is Beauty ALBUM REVIEW
  • thumbnail from Chelsea Wolfe - Demons Chelsea Wolfe - Demons
  • thumbnail from Chelsea Wolfe - Appalachia Chelsea Wolfe - Appalachia


  • 04.24.14 I directed a music video for @SCRE4TURE because they rule & I love them. https://t.co/Ng90vHXi4Q / http://t.co/zpAqYPEIkA
  • 04.24.14 RT @sargenthouse: EUROPE get ready we will be announcing a whole slew of @CCHELSEAWWOLFE Summer tour dates soon xo @SargentHouseEU
  • 04.23.14 Interview with LA Magazine about film with Mark Pellington "Lone" - http://t.co/py8lVrVPlb
  • 04.22.14 RT @sargenthouse: Thanks to everyone supporting the @CCHELSEAWWOLFE "Lone" Film by ordering the USB so hot http://t.co/EOCFqaK6GL http://t.…
  • 04.20.14 ovate in the poppy fields http://t.co/r3O1ymrnID
  • 04.19.14 an unkindness of ravens, eating with wolf
  • 04.19.14 RT @nytimes: A planet circling a star 500 light-years away is the closest match of our home world yet discovered http://t.co/CFyhHjCfcm
  • 04.14.14 RT @sargenthouse: This year's line up for @SledIsland is looking Great!! So happy to have @CCHELSEAWWOLFE playing it http://t.co/SFn5hJFhJ5
  • 04.13.14 stoked to hit the road again with @qotsa May 5th til May 14th - http://t.co/62DTxCgqG4
  • 04.13.14 New show announced in Vancouver, BC at Electric Owl on June 21, 2014 http://t.co/qG9DCP2LKC
  • 04.11.14 RT @ElectricOwl_ca: JUST ANNOUNCED! Crownsest and UNDER THE SPELL present @CCHELSEAWWOLFE + guests SATURDAY JUNE 21ST! https://t.co/hxfP2KM…
  • 04.11.14 RT @Gigantic: The mighty @deafheavenband and @CCHELSEAWWOLFE co-headline Manchester's Gorilla on Saturday 16th August! http://t.co/ZhLWVIYP…