Enlarge Photo credit: Ben Chisholm

Chelsea Wolfe Debuts New Single and Video “American Darkness”

  • Axl Rosenberg

Speaking of the most absolutely extreme s00per-br00tal heavy heavy HEAVY shit: Chelsea Wolfe has released a new single and video, “American Darkness”! I know what you’re thinking: “Wait, the song is called ‘American Darkness’? But America is the greatest country on Earth! There’s nothing bad happening there right now at all. What darkness could Ms. Wolfe possibly find in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?”. But you know Chelsea. Some people can make anything a bummer.

Kidding aside, the song is characteristically gorgeous and moving, and the video, which was inspired by Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1999 film Magnolia and Wolfe’s interest in tarot cards, is also pretty interesting. Explains the big bad Wolfe:

“It began as a sort of homage to a scene in the Paul Thomas Anderson film Magnolia, where the characters are singing along to the Aimee Mann song ‘Wise Up,’ but I wanted our version to be explored through the lens of The Tarot. I’ve been reading tarot cards for myself for many years, and researching the symbolic expressions of the cards for this video made me want to dive even deeper. To represent that, I played both The Fool and The High Priestess cards in the video, to embody both the beginning of the journey, and the realization that the sacred knowledge I was seeking was inside me all along. We cast friends to play a few other tarot archetypes, and [director Karlos Rene Ayala]’s idea was to bring the symbols and signifiers into the contemporary; deconstructed, and made everyday – ‘the magical and the unexceptional.’ I loved that. At the same time, we really wanted to challenge the binary of the traditional tarot cards, and give them more diversity, which is something important that many cool artists and witches are doing. I’m such a fan of Karlos Rene Ayala as a writer, director, documentarian and friend, and have looked forward to making a video with him for a long time.”

You can check out the song and video below. The track will appear on Wolfe’s new album, Birth of Violence, which will be out September 13 on Sargent House. Pre-order it here. Wolfe will embark on an acoustic tour starting in October; dates are here.

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