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Baker's Dozen

Dark Nights Of The Soul: Chelsea Wolfe’s Baker’s Dozen
Greg Hyde , January 24th, 2024 10:42

From a teenage love of Fleetwood Mac and Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet soundtrack, to real life encounters with Sunn O))) and Smashing Pumpkins, Chelsea Wolfe talks to Greg Hyde about the 13 records that most impacted her life


Nico – Reims Cathedral - December 13, 1974

Nico’s one of those artists that’s always been on rotation, from early mixtapes people have given me to playlists that I make for myself now. I’ve always been drawn to a low register, really honest voice. I probably discovered her in my early twenties in Sacramento, when I was just starting to play music out and about myself. I had friends who made me mixtapes and CDs; it was a time where both of those things were still happening. I think there was a Nico song on one of the mix tapes that a tattoo artist friend had made for me, so I got into her music. Eventually, I stumbled on this Reims Cathedral live performance. It’s my favourite thing that she’s ever done.

There’s an urgency, a tension to that performance. I think the quality of the recording is what I really love. The rawness of it. I love imagining what it felt like to be in that space, in that cathedral, listening to that sound swirling all around you, viewing Nico’s energy, her singing resonating in that space. I love that. I love vocals that interact with the space itself. I love singing in spaces like that, that have natural reverb, history, and old energy. It really is inspiring to me. I would love to make a record like this one day as well. It’s something in the back of my mind that I know I’m going to make happen at some point, but it’s not set in stone.