Chelsea Wolfe, ‘She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She’ | The Album Story

Chelsea Wolfe guides us through the writing process behind her latest album, the revelatory ‘She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She’, out on February 09 via Loma Vista Recordings.

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Chelsea Wolfe has never released an album this early into a year. Though when it comes to ‘She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She’, it feels fitting for it to arrive at a time when starting afresh and turning over a new leaf is always at the forefront of the mind. For Chelsea, this record is that fresh start in more ways than one. As dense musically as it is emotionally, it signals a shedding of several skins from the past. A moment to reflect on where she has been but relishing in the fact that she has moved forward from the vices and virtues that commanded her for so long.

“It’s a relief to be releasing this rebirth of an album now, as it has taken quite a bit of time and work to get here,” she reveals. “There have been a lot of ups and downs, but it has been a blessing simply because I have learned so much. The rebirth feels good even though it also feels difficult. Just because the album is done and will be released doesn’t mean I have put that part of my life behind me. I feel like I am still living through it. That’s what 2024 feels like to me, this liminal and transitional time. I’m looking forward to all of the new learnings it will bring.”

Though as personal as the experiences that weave and pulsate their way through the cracks of ‘She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She’ are, Chelsea wants those listening to feel like they are a part of the journey as much as she is. Overcoming adversity isn’t linear; there isn’t just one way to manoeuvre your way through it. So this collection of songs is more than just one account of finding your way through the fog; it is a collage of them. An opportunity for us all to share in what it means to find what truly makes you shimmer and bask in it for as long as possible.

Now, Chelsea is taking Rock Sound inside of every layer of this metallic masterstroke to show how taking time to create art exactly how you want to will reap all the rewards.


Those familiar with the Chelsea Wolfe discography will know the depths that it dares to dive into. From intimately haunting compositions to bludgeoning slabs of heavenly decadence, the full spectrum of stunning sound has always been represented. However, when it came to figuring out where ‘She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She’ would fit into the puzzle, it was a case of bringing everything that had come before together, stripping away the layers piece by piece and delving into the abyss more than ever before. Much of that comes down to Wolfe’s newfound sobriety, providing a headspace where new paths were suddenly open for exploration.

“The demos were originally a lot more rock-based and a bit heavier,” she explains. “Then, when we got to the studio, they became much more electronic and synth-based. I was open and excited for that, this transformation of sound. A literal transformation in front of my eyes. I feel like this album wanted to be what it wanted to be, and I was just trying to facilitate that. Giving it some space and allowing it to come into its own life.”

Much of this came from having TV On The Radio co-founder Dave Sitek on production duty. Taking guitar and drum parts and running them through Dave’s array of modular synth walls produced sounds that wouldn’t be possible any other way. This is how you end up with the jittery chaos of ‘House Of Self-Undoing’, the unnerving techno throbs of ‘Eyes Like Nightshade’ and the mysteriously beautiful patter of ‘Unseen World’. Like travelling through a desolate underworld, guided only by the promise of salvation via shoots of light in the distance, it’s an atmosphere that perfectly pinpoints how it feels to let the universe guide you to where you need to be.

“‘Tunnel Lights’ is a very good example of that,” Chelsea adds, focusing on a highlight from the album. “I wanted to have a moment that had a sense of freedom to it. So the way that the end of the song comes in, it feels dancey, or at least dancey for me. I was unconsciously but consciously putting those moments of freedom into this dark underworld journey that I was going on.”


Of course, Dave Sitek had a significant influence on the direction that Wolfe was going creatively, but he wasn’t the only person prodding and poking at this sleeping giant. First up there were Chelsea’s band members and longtime collaborators – multi-instrumentalist Ben Chisholm, drummer Jess Gowrie and guitarist Bryan Tulao. Each would send through ideas of their own throughout the workshopping stage of the process, with the earliest iterations dating back as far as 2020. Though a lot of the real work took place in the studio, where riffs and percussion parts changed before their eyes via synths and drum machines thanks to the experimental alchemy that was taking place. This posed a new challenge within the relationship between each band member, but it is one that Chelsea is proud that they could work through. 

“I feel really grateful for my bandmates. They have all been really supportive of me being sober and understanding the timeline that I work on. But we all learned a lot about communication [in this process]. We, including myself, were not communicating well when we were in the studio. But throughout the process, we started to open up that little bit more. We should all be able to talk to each other. But there had to be some compromise, and that wasn’t always easy, but we got through it.”

A lot of this comes down to Chelsea being more confident in speaking up for what they truly wanted this to be. The energy generated from her sobriety dissolved into absolute confidence, not being afraid to speak up when things started going in a different direction than she had initially anticipated. Be that letting Dave know that he was stripping things back a bit too much for her liking within the production layering or working with Shawn Everett on a second mix after the first one wasn’t hitting quite how she wanted it to be, this has been the moment that Chelsea has taken what collaboration means to her to the next level.

“I have always had my hands within everything no matter what, but in the past, I was a bit more of a people pleaser, even though I hate that term. I would not be fighting as much for everything as I could. But I was ready to fight for this album. That is the place that I am in life now. I was ready to fight for it to sound as good as possible, so we did the remix. It needed those finishing touches and that energetic force in there that wasn’t present in the first one. I was learning through this process to stop conceding my power over things and just fight for things I thought were important. That personal growth meant that I was also ready to fight for many things in my life over the last couple of years.”


The core of the rebirth that Chelsea has experienced throughout this process really comes down to the poetry she was penning to accompany it. She has already admitted that becoming sober had a significant effect on her realising what she is capable of. Still, other subjects coursing through the veins of ‘She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She’ also affected the direction she was heading personally. From breaking away from a toxic relationship to learning what it means to truly love yourself and the freedom it provides, this is the most raw and honest unpacking of what it has meant to Chelsea to watch her world – and view of it – change around her. However, there is one thing that she wants to make clear. 

“Even though I am really excited about things like my sobriety and writing about it, there is no negation of my past work. Everything I did before this is still valid, and I was still as present as I am now. The thing is, this time – and I didn’t realise this whilst I was doing it – I would write a song, and then I would live out that song immediately after. I was directly experiencing what I was putting into these songs. So that’s when I started to be more intentional, affirmation style.”

That’s how a song like ‘A Place In The Sun’ came to be, with Chelsea focusing on her body being a safe place and a home for herself. Bouncing off the self-harm she had previously basked in and replacing it with self-love and empowerment, then radiating that light into her everyday opinion of herself. Then there is ‘Whispers In the Echo Chamber, ‘ where she embodies an individual who is confident in who she wants to be, ready to charge forward past the things that caused her anguish in the past. She felt inspired by cutting ties from patterns and people who didn’t have her best interests in mind and then doing so in the real world. And with such a strong level of manifestation in place, Chelsea is now looking to the things she has done and said previously to see how they slot into this new outlook. 

“It’s interesting to sing songs from so long ago now, and some of it resonates, and some of it feels like a different person. I’m sure everyone has had that experience in their life. But I hope that the things I am writing about and living now will make me realise that I was being as empowering and helpful as possible, always trying to lead myself in the right direction. To see yourself aligned and not just give yourself away to everything and everyone that asks it of you. It’s about ensuring everything aligns with my vision and values.”


‘She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She’ is a title that speaks to the past, present and future of who we are. Everything we do, everywhere we have been, and everyone we have experienced this life with affects who we are. For Chelsea, it’s a concept that came from visual work that she was doing in therapy. Getting in touch with her past self – childhood, teenage or young adult years – and finding healing in who they were as you look towards your future self. However, it wasn’t until she talked to Dave Sitek about this concept that everything slotted into place and the association with the record they were making became clear. 

“He was the one who said, ‘Why don’t you say it literally?’. I was thinking about my past, present, and future, so she is literally the one who is reaching out. I love that cyclical nature, which quickly transformed my mind into an infinite loop. It all speaks to the idea that healing is not linear. It spirals.”

“It’s also about reaching out to the listeners and inviting them along this journey as well. It is also about reaching back to ancient ancestors, too. I have been getting in touch with that part of my history and discovering more about it, especially on the matriarchal side. There are a lot of things all swirled up in here.”


More than anything, the future is everything that Chelsea Wolfe will want it to be. She will be heading back out on the road, where she can put into action many of the things she has gained from this album process in front of those who adore her the most. But beyond that, it is a case of how those things will affect the person she is away from her art. The person that she is in the day-to-day. That will truly be the mark of what this journey has represented, and right now, Chelsea is excited to see what it all means, both in terms of the good and the bad.

“These things I’ve learned and healed with will help me be the best artist and person I can possibly be. With that comes accepting the parts of myself that are not so good. Like anger and rage. How you wake up some days and are fucking pissed off and others you’re depressed or in a bad mood. Those versions of yourself are okay as well. I now have grounded routines and rituals, like taking time in the morning and at the end of the day to mark what I have been through and not just letting the day just end. These are the things that will keep me centred and grounded throughout all of the work. I’m grateful for that and excited to ride the waves with some grace.”

Above all else, the biggest lesson from putting ‘She Reaches Out To She Reaches Out To She’ into reality is seeing what it means to allow yourself to feel genuine love for yourself. By challenging all of her previous beliefs, shunning the things that made her feel bent out of shape and letting her body tell her what it needs, this rebirth is full of energy that will stick. And when your art can transform how you view your appreciation and adoration of what you are capable of, then anything truly is possible. 

“I think that loving yourself is such a strange concept when you aren’t used to it,” she concludes. “As someone who has dealt with self-hatred and denial of self, you suddenly get that you are all you have, even if you have other people in your life. If you don’t love yourself, I also think you don’t have as much to give others. The world needs you to love yourself because it needs more love to deal with everything it is going through right now. You can bring that light.”

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