Chelsea Wolfe Shares Video for New Song “American Darkness” | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Chelsea Wolfe Shares Video for New Song “American Darkness”

The Birth of Violence Due Out September 13 via Sargent House

Jul 16, 2019
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Chelsea Wolfe is releasing a new album, The Birth of Violence, on September 13 via Sargent House. Previously she shared its first single, "The Mother Road" (which was one of our Songs of the Week). Now she has shared another song from the album, "American Darkness," via a video for track. Karlos Rene Ayala directed the atmospheric black & white clip, which has a bit of a David Lynch vibe in some parts (although it's actually inspired by Paul Thomas Anderson). Watch it below, followed by Wolfe's upcoming tour dates.

In a press release Wolfe says the video is an "expression of freedom and beautiful humans being themselves."

She further elaborates: "It began as a sort of homage to a scene in the Paul Thomas Anderson film Magnolia, where the characters are singing along to the Aimee Mann song 'Wise Up,' but I wanted our version to be explored through the lens of The Tarot. I've been reading tarot cards for myself for many years, and researching the symbolic expressions of the cards for this video made me want to dive even deeper. To represent that, I played both The Fool and The High Priestess cards in the video, to embody both the beginning of the journey, and the realization that the sacred knowledge I was seeking was inside me all along. We cast friends to play a few other tarot archetypes, and Karlos' idea was to bring the symbols and signifiers into the contemporary; deconstructed, and made everyday - 'the magical and the unexceptional.' I loved that. At the same time, we really wanted to challenge the binary of the traditional tarot cards, and give them more diversity, which is something important that many cool artists and witches are doing. I'm such a fan of Karlos Rene Ayala as a writer, director, documentarian, and friend, and have looked forward to making a video with him for a long time."

The Birth of Violence is the follow-up to 2017's Hiss Spun. It was recorded with longtime musical collaborator Ben Chisholm and features Jess Gowrie (drums) and Ezra Buchla (viola).

Wolfe had this to say about the album in a previous press release: "I've been in a state of constant motion for the past eight years or so; touring, moving, playing new stages, exploring new places and meeting new people-an incredible time of learning and growing as a musician and performer. But after awhile, I was beginning to lose a part of myself. I needed to take some time away from the road to get my head straight, to learn to take better care of myself, and to write and record as much as I can while I have 'Mercury in my hands,' as a wise friend put it." 

The previous press release described the album as such: "Birth of Violence touches upon tradition, but it also exists in the present, addressing modern tragedies such as school shootings and the poisoning of the planet. But the record is at its most poignant when Wolfe withdraws into her own world of enigmatic and elusive autobiography. The songs describe an internal awakening of feminine energy, a connection to the maternal spirit of the Earth, and a defiant stance against the destructive and controlling forces of a greedy and hostile patriarchy. Though the lyrical minutiae remain secret, the overall power of the language and delivery is bound to haunt the listener with both its grace and tension. In keeping with the general approach of the album, it thrives by culling from the familiar language of American country and folk music while setting it within longtime musical collaborator Ben Chisholm's scenic soundscapes."

The previous press release added: "While it's tempting to draw a comparison to Wolfe's acoustic collection Unknown RoomsBirth of Violence is a far cry from the unplugged nature of that album. Instead, it feels like an exploration of one of Wolfe's strongest facets-her ties to the American singer/songwriter tradition."

Read our 2015 The End interview with Wolfe about endings and death.

Chelsea Wolfe Acoustic Tour Dates:

08/31: Pasadena, CA - Pasadena Daydream Festival * (Non Acoustic Set)
10/18: San Diego, CA - Observatory North Park
10/19: Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
10/21: Salt Lake City, UT - Metro Music Hall
10/22: Estes Park, CO - Stanley Hotel
10/24: Chicago, IL - Metro
10/25: Detroit, MI - Senate Theater
10/26: Toronto, ONT - Queen Elizabeth Theatre
10/27: Montreal, QC - Le National
10/29: Boston, MA - Royale
10/31: Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
11/01: New York, NY - Brooklyn Steel
11/03: Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
11/04: Charlotte, NC - McGlohon Theater
11/05: Atlanta, GA - Terminal West
11/06: Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
11/08: Dallas, TX - Texas Theatre
11/09: Austin, TX - Levitation
11/10: Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall
11/12: Santa Fe, NM - Meow Wolf
11/13: Tucson, AZ - Club Congress
11/15: Los Angeles, CA - The Palace Theatre
11/16: San Francisco, CA - Regency Ballroom
11/18: Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
11/20: Seattle, WA - The Showbox
11/21: Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theatre

* All dates with special guest Ioanna Gika except 8/31

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