Chelsea Wolfe Announces New Album

Those of you expecting Chelsea Wolfe to keep releasing the same old album are going to be in for a shock when you give this new single a listen. Musically, it still has that darkness…drawing connections to her past work, but the accompanying band brings in something different. Crashing cymbals, walls of distortion and heavy riffs..it almost sounds like she’s channeling Deftness, but with her own haunting voice drifting through in a ghostly fashion. Her new album is titled Hiss Spun, and it’s always great to see her continue to push her music, so we accept nothing but further success. Sargent House will release the new album on September 22nd.

The ATH Top 50 Albums of 2015

Albums ListYear-end lists are everywhere…and I can see why they’re important to people. But, seeing as we generally walk off the beaten path more often than not, our list of the Top 50 Albums of 2015 is in no particular order, save alphabetically. It seems pointless to rank one piece of art higher than another, especially when the four of us at ATH all have varying tastes. We just put this list together of the albums we loved the most this year. Are we saying they’re better than records by Grimes or Kendrick Lamar? No, we’re just saying that these are the records we loved more than others. So, you can read on for what we thought was hot.

Also…put links to individual stores where you can buy the albums from the bands…as that’s how we all survive in this music world.
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More From Chelsea Wolfe

Chelsea-WolfeThough I haven’t seen near as much coverage for Chelsea Wolfe as I remember in the past, count this guy as one who is labeling the soon to be released Abyss as one of this year’s gems.  Since I can’t legally share the entire album with you, the best I can do is post another one of the stellar tracks from the album “Grey Days”.  Once again we are treated to some heavy, darker pop music sure to get you excited for the new release (if you weren’t already).

Abyss is out August 7th on Sargent House.

Dark New Track From Chelsea Wolfe

Chelsea+WolfeI’ve always had an affinity for Chelsea Wolfe and the dark, brooding sort of pop music that she has created over the last several years.  The new song I’m sharing with you today, “Iron Man”, might just be one of my favorite pieces she’s ever put out.  It’s a song that’s all about the peaks and valleys, the noisy highs of guitar driven rock after you’re calmed with the lows and hushed vocals.  Truly powerful stuff and I suggest you have a listen.

Pick up new album Abyss on August 7th via Sargent House.

Top 50 Albums of 2013

albums banner 2013 procMaking our year-end list of Top Albums is never something we take lightly.  We realize that it’s rather arbitrary in the grand scheme of things, but we realize that our role is to at least toss out our opinion, however meaningless it may be. In the long run, we had to take the tastes of several people, and whittle it into a list of 50 great albums that we think are vital to your listening experience.  We know it’s a matter of personal tastes, but the records below are reflective of our tastes and our site, so don’t get mad, they’re just opinions. But, feel free to tell us where we went wrong, or what we might have missed.  If you click on the album titles, you can also read our full reviews of each album, save the ones that we didn’t get to in time. Sorry we don’t like Kanye.

50 – WampireCuriosity
49 – Dot DashHalf Remembered Dream
48 – Mantles  – Long Enough to Leave
47 – The Appleseed CastIllumination Ritual
46 – Bad SportsBras
45 – Part TimePDA
44 – Dick DiverCalendar Days
43 – Math and Physics ClubOur Hearts Beat Loud
42 – Veronica FallsWaiting for Something to Happen
41 – Eat Skull – III
40 – The Lonely WildThe Sun as It Comes
39 – The Love LanguageRuby Red
38 – Gun OutfitHard Coming Down
37 – Cate Le BonMug Museum
36 – Daughn GibsonMe Moan
35 – Andre ObinThe Arsonist
34 – ArpMore
33 – Gap DreamShine Your Light
32 – The Black WatchThe End of When
31 – Ty SegallSleeper
30 – The StevensA History of Hygeine
29 – Of MontrealLousy with Sylvianbriar
28 – Mirror TravelMexico
27 – Local NativesHummingbird
26 – Girls NamesThe New Life
25 – GRMLNEmpire
24 – Small BlackLimits of Desire
23 – AudacityButter Knife
22 – Mikal CroninMCII
21 – Chelsea WolfePain is Beauty
20 – FoalsHoly Fire
19 – Radical FaceFamily Tree: The Branches
18 – Youth LagoonWondrous Bughouse
17 – Terry MaltsNobody Realizes This is Nowhere
16 – Shout Out LoudsOptica
15 – Kurt VileWaking on a Pretty Daze
14 –  BraidsFlourish//Perish
13 – Crystal AntlersNothing is Real
12 – TyphoonWhite Lighter
11 – Ski LodgeBig Heart

10 – GamblesTrust

Admittedly, this album makes nods to folk troubadours of Christmas’ past, but what grabbed me from the moment I heard this record was the sincerity in what’s being created.  In leaving us with a stripped down listen of folk tunes and incredible poetry, we’re asked to look into the history of American songwriting tradition; it’s been awhile since it was executed so well.

9 – The GrowlersHung at Heart

I’d put this album on any list for one song alone, “Someday.”  But, it just so happens that the rest of the album maintains the sensation that’s established on the opening track.  I’ve heard it referenced as a surf-psych opus, but what’s been assured in my mine is what an incredible listen we’re all be treating to when we put Hung at Heart on our record players.

8 – Wax IdolsDiscipline & Desire

Hether Fortune seems to scare people.  Her work is in your face, never making an excuse for who she is or what she believes.  That attitude carries on into her music, allowing listeners to experience a musical world void of any pretense.  The songs on this album are angular, dark and abrasive; the vocals have Hether dominating the scene of modern lady rock warriors.  If you don’t dig it, she doesn’t care, but I do because this record rules.

7 – Parenthetical GirlsPrivilege

While many of the songs on this effort leaked out before under various EPs, the whole masterpiece exists in the way it was tied together as a complete work.  It’s operatic and grand at every corner, but it’s also undeniably a pop record.  The emphasis might revolve around the more artful spectrum of pop music, but this is an album you can play for everyone in your family, and they’ll all find themselves swept up in the wonderment of Privilege.

6 – The NationalTrouble Will Find Me

What else really needs to be said about The National.  They consistently make great albums that are lauded then often overlooked, but we didn’t want to do that to one of our favorite acts.  I mean, if they played 8 shows in 8 days, we’d be at every one, and the DJ set after party.  Their accolades and recognition are warranted, and it’s especially clear on this, their latest release.

5 – LegsPass the Ringo

When listening to Pass the Ringo, I thought of one thing: this is the sort of record that makes a small label, like Loglady Records, a household name. It’s spun around garage rock and psych rock structures, whilst still maintaining an accessibility that few people working in that genre achieve.  Some albums can play in the background of your house, and might be happy to do so, but Legs created something that made me stop and listen at every turn; I’m thankful for that.

4 – Warm SodaSomeone for You

Someone For You came our way in January.  On my record player, it hasn’t left since.  This is one of the most rewarding power-pop records I’ve gotten my hands on, and trust me, I’ve gotten my hands on a lot of great records. Each song is filled with innate hooks and garage rock grit, encouraging you to tap your toes for the entirety of the record.  You’d think after a full year our interest would have waned, but with time we’ve only grown to appreciate the record even more.

3 – Coma CinemaPosthumous Release

At the moment, there’s not too many people releasing music that’s the quality of Mathew Cothran and Coma Cinema. There are elements of the bizarre, similar to the work of early Elf Power, yet there’s this intimacy that artists like Eliott Smith were able to create with their listeners.  You wrap that up and put it in a package of pop sensibility, and you have an album that can’t be ignored.

2 – Bubblegum LemonadeSome Like it Pop

In today’s musical climate, we buy into the fact that artists have to be doing something strange, or something that’s vastly different from their peers.  But, in the grand scheme of things, we often forget what it’s like to take enjoyment out of the music.  This album was one of the many reminders that music, when it’s good, can be quite special.  Every song here is a single, and worth your time; it’s the best thing Laz has done, and I feel like he’s just really getting started.

1 – Magical CloudzImpersonator

This album is about Devon Welsh.  From the first instant I heard his voice, it took hold of me. Throughout the year, Impersonator, consistently played on my radio. His voice was mesmerizing, captivating audiences on several occasions in Austin, convincing us to be as quiet as a mouse, so as to hear every note.  The unique quality of the album will reward listeners for years to follow.  It made us believe in great music again.

 

Show Review: Chelsea Wolfe @ the Mohawk (9.6)

After spending several weeks listening to Pain is Beauty by Chelsea Wolfe, I was really anticipating an incredible show on Friday.  Her voice and her continual growth led to a rather full crowd of eager lookie-loos yearning to hear her dark take on pop music.  She was joined by Dallas act True Widow who aimed to set off the night in the right way.

Read on for thoughts, and thanks to our friend Bryan at PopPress for sharing some photos with us. 

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Chelsea Wolfe – Pain Is Beauty

chelsea-wolfe-pain-is-beauty

Rating: ★★★★ ·

It’s been a busy three years for Chelsea Wolfe, pushing out four albums of quietly acclaimed music.  Her early works were gentle, though you could sense a bit of brooding beneath what she was releasing.  Now, with Pain Is Beauty, there’s more force to her music, more emphasis; she’s managing to balance her angelic voice with the dark emotional content that’s been there all along.  Finally, this feels like what Chelsea wants us to hear.

After listening to the folkier approach of Unknown RoomsChelsea Wolfe makes an immediate statement with “Feral Love.”  It’s got a pulsating drum loop that is made more emphatic by scratching beneath the surface and punctuated noise.  Her voice sits perfectly in the mix, but the accent of the backing female vocal only strengthens the tune before it fades out.  Yet, immediately the ante is upped with “Hit a Wall.” There’s a driving beauty hidden in the instrumentation, but while there’s an obvious darkness, Wolfe’s angelic voice serves as the perfect foil.

While I find that the first few tracks are quite forceful, there’s also a playful element to Pain Is Beauty.  “The Warden” is about as pop-centric as I think Chelsea would go; the beat beneath this song is about as light as you’ll find in her work, allowing her voice to shine as the glorious instrument that it is.  Smartly, Wolfe juxtaposes this stellar song by placing it next to “Destruction Makes the World Burn.”  The guitar steals the show on this one, leaving listeners with a tune that closely resembles contemporaries like Vivian Girls, had they only grown up transfixed by metal.

For me, I find that Chelsea Wolfe has a striking ability that few have managed in recent years; she is able to keep my attention, despite songs that tinker beyond the 8 minute mark.  Her opus, “The Waves Have Come” is built upon a piano backbone, and like the system of tides, there are varying ebbs and flows within the tune.  The music rises and falls, quiets then joyfully explodes.  It’s possibly the perfect statement track for this record, as the instrumentation, and the careful touches of emphasis, are so incredible that it leaves no doubt about how much care went into each and every detail within.  It’s not just this song, though it is quite obvious here, but the whole record.  That says a lot considering this is her fourth album in as many years.

Pain Is Beauty is finally the statement album that you could feel Chelsea Wolfe building towards.  Every detail is attended to on the record, yet it doesn’t lose the intimacy of her vocals.  The dark tint that often coats her work remains, but the curtains have been drawn back even more, letting us all see the magnificent talent that she has become.

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