HOCO Fest Day 4  - Frank  & Woody / Chelsea Wolfe

HOCO Fest Day 4 - Frank & Woody / Chelsea Wolfe

California native Chelsea Wolfe has always embodied both light and dark. Yet though her music is a raw strain of electric folk tinted by black metal and deep blues, it never wallows in despair. Instead, it wraps itself like a thick blanket around the human experience, encouraging uplift, seeking triumph. Her voice is a haunting call, warm and lingering, and her lyrics acknowledge life's obscure and melancholy moments in service to the unlikely truths and beauty they so often reveal. Her music exudes strength in the midst of adversity. It makes sense then that her influences run from Nick Cave and Selda Bagcan, to director Ingmar Bergman, with nods to the dramatic flair of Antony Hegarty, and even more so that she hails from the wilder, woodsy part of her state.

Wolfe's unique romanticism began early, but it was always a private affair. At 9, she started sneaking into her father's home studio to record warped keyboard covers and originals. Growing up, she lacked the confidence to share her work, and it wasn't until much later that she even considered making music for others to hear. But in 2009, Wolfe embarked on a three-month stint abroad with a group of nomadic performance artists, playing cathedrals, basements and abandoned nuclear factories, and returned home with a new vision and drive. She recorded two albums worth of material back to back, starting by toting around an 8-track and recording as the mood hit, eventually editing her findings into her stunning 2010 debut, The Grime & the Glow. Described as both healing and harrowing, enchanting and narcotic, the album established Wolfe as an elemental force on the rise. At last ready to embrace her gift, she relocated to Los Angeles in the same year and recorded her second album Ἀποκάλυψις (pronounced "apokalypsis") which found Wolfe in an actual studio with her live band, even as she maintained the strikingly visceral elements of her powerful debut. It was released in summer of 2011 and showcased her unique songwriting ability, as well as a serious heaviness of sound and an ever-present counterweight: that transcendent voice, which rightly landed it on numerous best of 2011 lists.

Since overcoming her initial hesitation to perform in front of crowds, Chelsea Wolfe has come a long way very quickly. Her name exploded in the art world after NYC pop artist Richard Phillips used her song "Moses" in an art-film starring Sasha Grey which premiered at the 2011 Venice Biennale. She recorded an exclusive i-N Session with i-D Magazine and was given "New Band of the Day" by The Guardian and "Band Crush" by NYLON Magazine. Her aesthetic has naturally been connected to fashion and she has been photographed wearing designers such as Alexander McQueen, Iris van Herpen, and Mordekai. Chelsea Wolfe is already hard at work on a third album, fittingly self-titled considering her newfound poise, due out in 2012.

Billy Sedlmayr

RIYL: Steve Earle, Townes Van Zandt, Neil Young, James McMurtry and Joe Ely

"Billy Sedlmayr... (is) one of the pioneers of Tucson punk and new-wave music, (he) played pivotal roles as a drummer and singer in seminal local acts The Pedestrians and Giant Sandworms during the early 1980s. A few years later, he became a frontman, singing and writing songs for local super-group Las Cruces... Since then, Sedlmayr has... continued to write songs, delving into Americana, classic rock and pop, and outlaw country. He also has recorded two albums for Rich Hopkins' San Jacinto Records." - Tucson Weekly


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