The emergence of Chelsea Wolfe has certainly not escaped the attention of those of us here at LA Music Blog, and with good reason. Fellow writer Lesley Park was the first to be impressed by her live show at KXSC Fest back in April, and I was suitably beguiled by her later afternoon appearance at FYF Fest just a few weeks back. We also featured her Sonos Studio session just last week, so it’s pretty safe to say we’re big fans. The goth-tinged singer-songwriter, originally from Sacramento, CA, is now based in Los Angeles, and her first two albums have rightly earned her the kind of attention that continues on an upward curve.


Last week brought the release of Wolfe’s third album, Pain Is Beauty, which is the fullest demonstration yet of her talent and which sounds to these ears like an artist blooming into fruition. Blessed with the likes of the eerie, menacing “We Hit A Wall” and the oddly gorgeous “House Of Metal,” the album delivers a unique brand of folk that throws in elements of rock, electronica, and even the atmosphere of doom metal to create something that is genuinely unclassifiable at times.

As is the case with The National’s latest album, Pain Is Beauty’s only issue is that it can be a little too much of a good thing, and the album’s length does slightly dull the impact of some of its individual tracks. Saying that feels a little churlish, though, especially given that the longest song on the album, the eight and a half minute epic “The Waves Have Come,” is one of the most indispensable tracks on Pain Is Beauty.

Chelsea Wolfe is giving residents of Los Angeles another opportunity to catch her impressive live show on November 16th when she will be performing at Royce Hall at UCLA with the promising Brit Anna Calvi. Tickets for that show are still available, and given the unusual choice of venue and the undoubted talent on the bill, I’m going to say the smart thing to do would be to go.

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Chelsea Wolfe