Enlarge Photo by Bill Crisafi

Chelsea Wolfe Honors Roky Erickson with “Night of the Vampire” Cover


The end of May marked the death of the legendary Roky Erickson of 13th Floor Elevators, Roky Erickson & The Aliens, and Okkervil River amongst many other memorable and influential projects. Since his passing, many artists from all walks of life have come forward to pay tribute in many forms. The most topical to our world is Chelsea Wolfe, who has released a cover of Roky’s 1981 track “Night of the Vampire.”

The singer took to Instagram to announce her cover:

“On this tribute to the great Roky Erickson, 1947-2019: I’ve been stuck in a bit of a personal cage lately, feeling like I couldn’t share things that didn’t feel highly polished.. it was starting to become a source of anxiety for me, as I have a new album I’m announcing soon, and wanted to be able to share intimate moments from the creation of the record in my home, as well as stripped down versions of the songs, but haven’t felt like any of it was ‘good enough.’ today I got home from a long drive after hanging out with good friends until 4 in the morning, and learned that Roky had passed. he’s always been one of my favorites, and this song has been on my mind to cover for a while now, so it just seemed right: record it, share it. don’t overthink it, don’t worry about it being perfect. yea, I could do a more polished version, but this is the way it came out naturally, and I was shaking afterward, always a sign that I’ve opened myself up to something beyond myself. thank you Roky, for setting me free. <3 CW”

While I’m usually not a big fan of cover songs, Chelsea Wolfe does a hauntingly beautiful job of making the song entirely her own with a very emotional homage to Roky. His memory lives on through all of us.

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