Chelsea Wolfe never fails to bring a resonant darkness into whatever situation she enters. In the video for the gothic singer-songwriter’s latest single, “Deranged for Rock & Roll,” she floats through a western ghost town like a curse, singing a song as ominous as it is alluring.
“Deranged for Rock & Roll” follows suit with the other singles it joins for Wolfe’s forthcoming record, Birth of Violence, showing an apparent step in the direction of subtlety. Gone are the nightmarish riffs and howls of 2017’s Hiss Spun, and replacing them is something that’s closer to folk than metal.
The main component of Wolfe’s new sound is the acoustic guitar, which she carries with her through the video for “Deranged for Rock & Roll.” While the song begins with light strumming under Wolfe’s reverb-tinged voice, a swelling of feedback opens the song up into a slow, dark ballad. The video gives us glances of a half-deserted town, with all of those who live there lost in their own worlds. A priest sweeps the ground, unaware of the couple standing at his chapel. Meanwhile, Wolfe plays to a darkened saloon.
Wolfe describes her character in the video as “destined to sing the same song over and over in this purgatory of a desert bar, while different people come through the town and begin to feel the pull as well.”
While there’s no shortage of artists claiming rock music as their savior, Wolfe twists this cliché to characterize rock as a bewitching force, one drawing her toward the darkness that pervades her songwriting—even when it’s been stripped down to an acoustic guitar. At the end of the song, she utters the devotional line, “I am yours and you are mine.”
“Every time I ever tried to walk a different path, music always called me back home to it,” says Wolfe. “I love its chaos and its rough edges, and I love the way it can bring understanding and comfort. I belong to music, and it to me.”
Wolfe’s sixth studio album, Birth of Violence comes out Sept. 13 on Sargent House. Soon after, she’ll be embarking on a fall acoustic tour with Ioanna Gika. You can watch the video for “Deranged for Rock & Roll” below, and listen to Wolfe’s 2013 Daytrotter Session and find her upcoming tour dates further down.
Chelsea Wolfe Tour Dates:
18 – San Diego, Calif. @ Observatory North Park
19 – Phoenix, Ariz. @ Crescent Ballroom
21 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ Metro Music Hall
22 – Estes Park, Colo. @ Stanley Hotel
24 – Chicago, Ill. @ Metro
25 – Detroit, Mich. @ Senate Theater
26 – Toronto, Ont. @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre
27 – Montreal, Que. @ Le National
29 – Boston, Mass. @ Royale
31 – Philadelphia, Pa. @ Union Transfer
01 – New York, N.Y. @ Brooklyn Steel
03 – Washington, D.C. @ 9:30 Club
04 – Charlotte, N.C. @ McGlohon Theater
05 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Terminal West
06 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Mercy Lounge
08 – Dallas, Texas @ Texas Theatre
09 – Austin, Texas @ Levitation
10 – Houston, Texas @ White Oak Music Hall
12 – Santa Fe, N.M. @ Meow Wolf
13 – Tucson, Ariz. @ Club Congress
15 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ The Palace Theatre
16 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Regency Ballroom
18 – Portland, Ore. @ Wonder Ballroom
20 – Seattle, Wash. @ The Showbox
21 – Vancouver, B.C. @ Vogue Theatre