Interview: Chelsea Wolfe Talks ‘She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She’

“This album is an invitation to step into your power and to step into your authenticity,” says singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe of her newest record She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She. “I feel like I’m very much on that journey with the listener.”

She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She is Wolfe’s first release on Loma Vista Recordings and arguably one of her most futuristic-sounding albums. On this record, Wolfe’s iridescent vocals command industrial rock instrumentation and dark ambient vibes to explore electronic elements hinted at in earlier work. What makes this album truly transformative is the way it explores the theme of confronting toxic relationships and influences while embracing the unknown.

“I think that certain songs were about admitting that you are in a place that isn’t working for you anymore, and that can be empowering in itself,” says Wolfe. “You have to really face everything and there’s not that easy way out.”

The genesis of She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She dates back to the Birth of Violence tour in 2020. “Some of the ideas are even a bit older than that,” says Wolfe. “I hold onto ideas for a long time and tuck them away for the right time.”

Wolfe worked with multi-instrumentalist Ben Chisholm, drummer Jess Gowrie, and guitarist Bryan Tulao to make her electrified follow-up to the acoustic-driven Birth of Violence. The record also finds Chelsea Wolfe teaming up with producer Dave Sitek for the first time.

“In Dave Sitek’s hands, it became way more electronic than I ever expected,” says Wolfe. “I hadn’t written the songs on the guitar anyhow. They had come more as collaged pieces. It just kind of made sense that Dave took those songs and tore them apart. We redid certain things that may have been on a guitar on a synth, or a pulsar drum machine instead of using real drums.”

Wolfe’s vocals are integral to her music. In the case of this album, her vocals are calm even while commanding instrumental accompaniment that shifts from soft to heavy.

“I really just wanted to be true to how I was feeling and to my energy at that time and I did feel a lot calmer,” says Wolfe. “I didn’t want to make the vocals more forceful or energized when I wasn’t actually feeling that way and the songs didn’t really feel like they needed that anyways.”

In terms of songwriting, the lyrics here relate to the concept of confronting toxic relationships while offering comfort. “These songs demanded to be lived because that’s how it really felt,” says Wolfe. “I would write a song, and then I would go through the very thing that I was writing about. It’s like these songs weren’t going to let me get away without actually living through them and feeling them and being able to express that fully in the final version of the songs. It was a really interesting writing process.”

A concept Wolfe explores on record for combatting fear of the unknown is the liminal space, which she also calls “the void space, the in-between.” In a song called “The Liminal,” this serves as a character in its own right. “I think we think about the in-between as something negative often because you don’t know exactly what you’re doing,” says Wolfe.

For Wolfe, the liminal space of not knowing and feeling uncertain is a source of inspiration, one that listeners should welcome rather than fear. “Last year, I found it exciting not to know what the next step is,” says Wolfe. “I found myself okay with that. I did take a big leap in my life and it created the space for what was meant to be there.”

She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She is empowering and comforting because it expresses universal human experiences in a celestial way. It also proves that Wolfe continues to evolve as a poetic musician by embracing the unknown with excitement.

“There is an aspect to this album that feels like it is marking a new era for me as well,” says Wolfe. “It just feels like there are a lot of markers that come along with this album that have the feeling of a new chapter or a new book even for me.”

She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She comes out on Friday and you can pre-order it from Loma Vista Recordings. Follow Chelsea Wolfe on Instagram and TikTok for future updates.

Photo courtesy of Ebru Yildiz.

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