American neofolk singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe has shared her gripping and reflective new single, “Anhedonia,” which features guest vocals and guitar from labelmate Emma Ruth Rundle and was mixed by Ben Chisholm. Wolfe released her sixth studio album, Birth of Violence, in 2019 through Sargent House Records.
Named after a psychological condition where people are unable to experience pleasure, the sweeping and stripped-down track captures the raw, ethereal power Wolfe’s ghostly voice and majestic songwriting, complemented by Rundle’s delicate guitar and sorrowful guest vocals.
On the single’s release, Wolfe comments:
“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 cancelled, 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 romanticize 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.”
On her contribution to the track, 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.”
Listen to “Anhedonia” below:
Preorder and stream the single here.