Chelsea Wolfe + Maud the Moth
Sun 21st April 2024 @ 7pm

Chelsea Wolfe

+ Maud the Moth
Open to 14s and over (Under 16s to be accompanied by an Adult 18+). Photo ID required.
  • Sold Out!
Chelsea Wolfe + Maud the Moth
Under The Arches, Villiers Street, London, GB, WC2N 6NG

Chelsea Wolfe’s latest album, She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She, is a
rebirth in process. It’s about how such a moment connects to our past, our present, and
our future. It’s a powerfully cathartic statement about cutting ties, as well as an
important reminder that healing is cyclical and circular, and not a simple linear process.
As Wolfe explains, “It’s a record about the past self reaching out to the present self
reaching out to the future self to summon change, growth, and guidance. It’s a story of
setting yourself free from situations and patterns that are holding you back, in order to
become self-empowered. It’s an invitation to step into your authenticity.”
On She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She, there are references to shedding
exoskeletons, to excommunication, and to permanent fissures. The liminal, the in-
between, and the unseen are recurring characters. As Wolfe puts it, “like the dark moon,
that void space can feel unpredictable and looming, but it also holds so much potential,
mystery, and excitement.” Dense and minimal, raw and opulent, intimate and
expansive, the production also breaks apart then rebuilds—samples of the band are cut
and pasted back together, heavy guitars dissolve into trip-hop breaks; the vocal delivery
is both hushed and soaring. As Wolfe sings in the blistering opener, “Whispers In The
Echo Chamber,” she’s “twisting the old self into poetry.” (The same track finds her
“bathing in the blood of who [she] used to be.”)
There’s an intimate, ASMR-like quality to the vocals on this album, delicate and
detailed. Nothing feels straightforward, left to chance, or as expected. Wolfe said of She
Reaches Out: “This album demanded to be lived.” Throughout, these vocals hold
specific keys to meaning, and feel sculptural.
The initial songwriting was kept to a core of longtime collaborators, as Wolfe worked
closely with multi-instrumentalist Ben Chisholm, along with drummer Jess Gowrie and
guitarist Bryan Tulao. The songs were written and workshopped remotely from the
spring of 2020 through the end of 2021 by Wolfe and these collaborators. In early 2022,
she brought the work she had collected to producer and TV On The Radio co-founder
Dave Sitek, who worked with the band to deconstruct the compositions, pushing the
songs into uncharted waters where they were then transformed and reborn. The pieces
found their final focus at the mixing console of Shawn Everett (Slowdive, SZA, Alvvays,
the Killers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs); Everett and Wolfe worked to extract the fine details from
the vocals, blending them into the lush sonic production world. Everett mixed in a sense
of urgency and excitement, while still maintaining the delicate sections of its production.
This leap into the unknown shouldn’t be surprising: Wolfe has never been afraid to
experiment, traverse genre, or invent her own hybrids. If you return to her 2010 debut,
The Grime and the Glow, amongst the room-tone atmospherics, punk drums, dark

melody, and Wolfe’s commanding voice you can already see the prototypical skeleton,
a visionary scratchpad, for what would follow. An early approach to She Reaches Out
To She Reaches Out To She’s pulsing electronics and break beats are there in 2013’s
Pain Is Beauty. 2015’s Abyss established a space between folk and industrial and noise
rock and metal. 2017’s Hiss Spun burrowed deeper into heaviness. Wolfe returned to
her earlier, folkier beginnings on 2019’s Birth of Violence, which was recorded at home
in Northern California, and links back to 2012’s acoustic collection of songs, Unknown
Opener “Whispers in the Echo Chamber,” ties together a number of elements Wolfe has
explored in the past, rolling in dynamic waves between minimal synth electronic and
heavy, full-band moments, and refracted through a hall of mirrors. The explosive “House
of Self-Undoing,” a song about Wolfe getting sober after the touring for her last album
concluded, feels like electronica meets post-hardcore. Wolfe explains, “When you
become sober after years of numbing out, you feel, deeply: the moments of joy are
euphoric, and the moments of pain are more visceral. But it’s like a call to adventure,
facing life fully present is exciting when you’ve spent half your life only half-present.”
Wolfe describes the song as an underworld journey – this journey takes many forms.
The slow-burn “Everything Turns Blue” is an anthem about “finding yourself again after
a long era of being part of something toxic,” she says. ”Making a split with someone
after 10 years, 20 years, 30 years—there’s going to be some high highs and low lows
as you begin to process it all.” The production here is deep, smoky, cavernous, and
glitchy. Wolfe’s voice is raw, honest, and carries a weight with it, the feeling of burnout
and also healing. “I’ve been living without you here/ and it’s alright/ I’d been looking for a
way out a long time/ I’ve been living without you here and I can fight/ I’ve been living
softly my whole life,” she sings. On this track, Wolfe asks another question central to
She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She: “What do I have to do to heal you out
of me?”
Closer “Dusk,” which opens smoky and sensual and ends as a towering psychedelic
guitar shredder, sees an empire burning and dissipating, and a dusk before a new
dawn. It’s a sentiment echoed throughout She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To
She. On “Tunnel Lights,” a song that has a late-nite Twin Peaks feel until it cracks open
into a miasmic swirl of analog and electric waves, is about, as Wolfe describes, “actually
living instead of just ‘getting by,’ about waking up to the fact that you’ve been
languishing in the dark and it’s time to start taking steps towards the lights that’ll guide
you out of the tunnel-cave.”

At its core, She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She is realizing the way forward
is through, contemplating what must be cut and left behind, while also figuring out what
lies ahead and what there is to discover once you get there. Wolfe guides us on that
quest, asking us these questions as she asks herself the same. As the title of the album
hints, She Reaches Out to She Reaches Out to She is a reminder to look within, to
remember that all the power you need resides there. Reach out to the selves, reach out
to one other. Reach to the ancient and to the end of all things, to remember that the
only time we truly have is now.