Hiss Spun is Chelsea Wolfe's sixth album, following her acclaimed 2015 album Abyss. Hiss Spun is at once dynamic, heavy, and raw. Recorded by Kurt Ballou (Converge), the album was conceived as an emotional purge, a means of coming to terms with the tumult of the outside world by exploring the complexities of one's inner unrest.
"I'm at odds with myself," she explains. "I got tired of trying to disappear. The record became very personal in that way. I wanted to open up more, but also create my own reality."
Hiss Spun features prominent guitar contributions by Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age, Failure) throughout the album, and a guest spot from Aaron Turner (Old Man Gloom, SUMAC) on the song "Vex." While past albums operated on the intimacy of stripped-down folk music (The Grime and the Glow, Unknown Rooms), or the throbbing pulse of supplemental electronics (Pain Is Beauty, Abyss), Wolfe's latest offering wrings its exquisiteness out of a palette of groaning bass, pounding drums, and crunching distortion. It's an album that inadvertently drew part of its aura from the cold white of the New England winter, though the flesh-and-bone of the material was culled from upheavals in Wolfe's personal life, and coming to terms with years of vulnerability, anger, self-destruction, and dark family history.
"The album is cyclical, like me and my moods," Wolfe says of Hiss Spun. "Cycles, obsession, spinning, centrifugal force-all with gut feelings as the centre of the self."
And it's an album that Wolfe sees as a kind of exorcism. Every Chelsea Wolfe album is cathartic, but never before has both the artist and her audience so desperately needed this kind of emotional purging.
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