She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She (Loma Vista)
Serious music for serious times from Chelsea Wolfe’s sixth album, which is not to say She Reaches… is full of songs about NHS privatisation or Houthi drone strikes, but rather a sober and dense suite of gothic, electronics-infused meditations. There are bits of rock guitar and industrial noise too, tempering the solemnity and adding further layers to this slow, weighty album. It drifts by like a big, black iceberg.
Anyway, it’s Wolfe’s vocals that dominate: earnest, deliberate and nearly always double-tracked, jumping easily from deep murmur to spooky soprano. You occasionally want her to scream or giggle or do something less mannered, but also, these are good songs: see The Liminal’s tick-tocking, creeping dread; Tunnel Lights, with its short piano sample and weird, almost torch song vibes. And at the end, Dusk where all this musical edging pays off with a brief, uh, splurge of hairy riffing and wigging out. Yass goth queen.
words WILL STEEN