CHELSEA WOLFE: HISS SPUN
Full disclosure: I believe that musically, Chelsea Wolfe can do no wrong. And to be fair, she hasn’t given me any reason to think otherwise. She’s equally able to write magical stark folk songs as she is dark, electronic-laced metal, and she’s a powerhouse in her live shows, transforming all of her songs into their heaviest iterations. Hiss Spun preserves that heaviness—armed with apocalyptic percussion and distorted guitar tones, Wolfe ventures further into metal territory than she ever has, even calling on Old Man Gloom’s Aaron Turner to provide traditional growls on “Vex,” the album’s second single, where Wolfe’s own voice offers a gorgeous and delicate counterpart to the doomy instrumentation. Highlights include “16 Psyche,” the lead single whose desperate chorus is not likely to leave your head soon after you hear it; “The Culling,” an eerie, agonized slow-burn; and “Twin Fawn,” a driving and melodic illustration of the album’s major themes. Lyrically, Wolfe invokes images of natural purity and beauty—like fawns, roses, and the moon—and juxtaposes them with visions of crawling skin, broken glass, claws, fangs, and madness. “Show me what’s underneath, show me your bruises,” Wolfe pleads on “Two Spirit.” On Hiss Spun, nothing stays pure and simple for long.
CHELSEA WOLFE’S HISS SPUN IS OUT FRI., SEPT. 22, ON SARGENT HOUSE.