Posts Tagged Chelsea Wolfe

STEELE PICKS: Best Albums of 2017

I’m not on as many press lists as I used to be, so I do the best I can as the C-list music critic that I am. here’s my list of the best albums of 2017, in modified alphabetical order.

Adna, Closure


Alvvays, Antisocialites


Charlotte Gainsbourg, Rest


Chelsea Wolfe, Hiss Spun

chelsea wolfe

Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, Lotta Sea Lice


Cults, Offering

Fleet Foxes, Crack-Up

fleet foxes crack up

Gary Numan, Savage (Songs from a Broken World)


Juana Molina, Halo

juana molina_halo
Lana Del Rey, Lust for Life

lana del rey

Laura Marling, Semper Femina

semper femina laura marling

The Mountain Goats, Goths


The National, Sleep Well Beast

sleep well beast album cover

Real Estate, In Mind


Ride, Weather Diaries


Saint Etienne, Home Counties


Slowdive, Slowdive


Waxahatchee, Out in the Storm

Zola Jesus, Okovi

zola jesus

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STEELE PICKS: Best Albums of 2015

Although I’ve ostensibly been a music critic for several decades I’m not on the press lists I used to be so I rely on spotify to find much of my new music. So there are some favorite artists and bands here as well as new discoveries. Music that appeals to me must speak to my heart, soul, mind. The melodies are mostly dark, swirling, moody with unusual arrangements and instrumentation. Sometimes it’s folk or electro-pop. Mostly dark alternative. I favor female vocalists with varied range, strength and style.

chelsea wolfe abyss

Chelsea Wolfe, Abyss [Sargent House]
–I love Chelsea Wolfe. always and forever. dark, swirling, atmospheric and emotive.

beach house_depression cherry

Beach House, Depression Cherry [Sub Pop]
–a rich, beautiful album that I can [and do] play again and again.

chvrches_every open eye

Chvrches, Every Open Eye [Glassnote]
–electropop. energetic and powerful. one of my favorite bands.

lana del rey_honeymoon

Lana Del Rey, Honeymoon [Interscope]
–moody gorgeousness


Sasha Siem, Most of the Boys
–a bit of Bjork, a bit of Florence and the Machine. quite beautiful, swirling and beguiling.


The Decemberists, What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World [Capitol]
–another favorite band that I find both comforting and subversive. extremely talented and inherently beautiful songwriting.


Lauren Peacock, Euphonia
–what I said in my August review: “combines piano with lush arrangements for memorable, moving melodies. The vocals shimmy and simmer.”


Torres, Sprinter [PTKF]
–Singer/songwriter Mackenzie Scott possesses maturity and presence beyond her years. beautiful, raw, haunting. echos of PJ Harvey and Amanda Palmer.

science and the beat

Science and the Beat, Future Blue
–skilled duo of multi-instrumentalists Tasha Katrine and Rob Zilla that create the cool sounds and eclectic arrangements. moody, strong, electro-pop. read the review.


Sleater-Kinney, No Cities to Love
–powerful, outspoken and rocking


Waxahatchee, Ivy Tripp [Merge Records]


Bjork, Vulnicura [One Little Indian Us]
–orchestral arrangements with Bjork’s cool weirdness. a bit slower than other albums and it’s fantastic.

wolf alice_my love is cool

Wolf Alice, My Love is Cool [RCA]
–heard the single on a British radio station and was hooked.

grimes_art angels

Grimes, Art Angels [4AD]
–unusually arranged songs about being weird, being an outcast. angelic vocals. what’s not to appreciate?

ellie goulding_delirium

Ellie Goulding, Delirium [Interscope]
–beautiful pop songs


Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit [MOM & POP MUSIC]
–past, present and future infused with her witty lyrics and alt-pop melodies.

sufjan stevens_ carrie & lowell

Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell [Asthmatic Kitty]
–cool soothing folk. open and lovely.

furniture girls

Furniture Girls, Chaos
–kick ass garage rock. review here.

A History of Now - Album Cover HIGH RES

Callaghan, A History of Now
–happy, optimistic Americana/ folk/ alt-country mix. when it came out I wrote: “A History of Now will definitely make you feel 10% happier after listening to it.”

julie holter_ have you in my wilderness

Julia Holter, Have You in my Wilderness
–combines retro with current arrangements. gorgeous vocals.

wind burial

Wind Burial, We Used to Be Hunters
–immediately caught my attention as it manages to convey intensity, danger and beauty. review.

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Steele Picks: Top 30 Albums of 2013

–unfortunately I can’t possibly hear every album released. I don’t hear about things. I don’t get access to many until the public does. publicists don’t send me as many albums in advance as I wish.

–here are the the albums this year that moved me, inspired me, made me think.

–they’re in alpha order


The Avett Brothers–The Magpie and the Dandelion [American]


Arctic Monkeys—AM [Domino]


Bleeding Rainbow–Yeah Right [Kanine]

camera obscura_desire lines

Camera Obscura–Desire Lines [4AD]


Chvrches–Bones of What You Believe [Virgin]


Cults–Static [Columbia]


Foals–Holy Fire [Warner Music]


Gliss–Langsom Dans [Modern Outsider]

Grace & Tony_November_cover

Grace & Tony–November [Rock Ridge Music]


Haim–Days are Gone [Columbia/Sony]

how to destroy angels welcome obliv

How to Destroy Angels–Welcome Oblivion [Columbia]


The Joy Formidable–Wolf’s Law [Atlantic]

julie ruin

The Julie Ruin– Run Fast EP [TJR]


Lorde–Pure Heroine [Lava/Republic]


Lovers–A Friend in the World [Badman Recording Co.]


Luray–The Wilder

laura marling

Laura Marling–Once I Was an Eagle [Ribbon Music]


MGMT– MGMT [Columbia]


M.I.A.–Matangi [N.E.E.T./Interscope]


Mirror Travel–Mexico [Outsider Records]


My Gold Mask–Leave Me Midnight [Highwheel]


The National–Trouble Will Find Me [4AD]


Orbe Orbe–Invisible Kingdoms


Super Water Sympathy–Hydrogen Child [In Music We Trust]

revise your maps

Perhapst– Revise Your Maps [Jack Viking Music]

muses cover

Throwing Muses–Purgatory/ Paradise

frank turner tape deck heart

Frank Turner–Tape Deck Heart [Interscope]


Violeta Vil–Lapidas y Cocoteros [Young Cubs]


Waxahatchee–Cerulean Salt [Don Giovanni]

chelsea wolfe_pain is beauty

Chelsea Wolfe–Pain is Beauty [Sargent House]

[all selections by Amy Steele 12/1/2013]

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COOL NEW MUSIC: John Davis; Mirror Travel; Russian Circles; Mas Ysa


John Davis
[ex-Folk Implosion]

— beautifully arranged, stark emotional simplicity.

–video filmed at Occupy Wall Street

Spare Parts out October 29 [Shrimper Records]


Mirror Travel

–garage band from Austin, Texas with a fuzziness reminiscent of 90s female-fronted bands like Velocity Girl or that dog.

Mexico out October 15, 2013 [Modern Outsider Records]

russian circles

Russian Circles

“Memorial” [guest vocals by Chelsea Wolfe]
–drowning in a beautiful pool of warm blood on a sunny day

–blistering, terror-fueled blitz

Memorial out October 29, 2013 [Sargent House]


Mas Ysa

–sensitive, sweet song with trippy tribal-influenced techno beats

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Women in Music this Weekend

Friday Night:


ZOLA JESUS (with J.G. Thirlwell featuring the Mivos String Quartet) at the ICA Boston
7:30 PM


Middle East, Cambridge
9 pm

Saturday Night:

rusty belle

Lizard Lounge, Cambridge

Sunday Night:

chelsea wolfe2

The Sinclair, Cambridge

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NEWS: Chelsea Wolfe, new album and FALL TOUR


Chelsea Wolfe has quickly become one of my top three favorite artists in the past year. Her intense vocal range cuts through you as she expresses depth and intense emotions on every song. She carefully crafts each song with intricate compositions which combine classical, goth and experimental instrumentation. She utilizes soft vocals, sometimes stark without any musical accompaniment, soaring melodies, or a whispery vocal depending on what emotions she intends to convey. Every Chelsea Wolfe song leads the listener though a personal emotional journey. . A beautiful, haunting escape. Pain is Beauty is yet another near perfect album for a superbly talented singer/songwriter who should be getting far more attention than she does.

–review by Amy Steele

purchase album at Amazon: Pain Is Beauty

Fall Tour Dates

09.06 – Mohawk – Austin, TX *
09.07 – Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX *
09.08 – One Eyed Jacks – New Orleans, LA *
09.09- The Earl – Atlanta, GA *
09.10 – Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC *
09.11 – Rock and Roll Hotel – Washington, DC *
09.13 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY *
09.14 – Union Transfer – Philadelphia, PA *
09.15 – The Sinclair – Boston, MA *
09.17 – Legendary Horseshoe Tavern – Toronto, ON
09.19 – The Pike Room at Crofoot Ballroom – Pontiac, MA *
09.20 – Boomslang Festival – Lexington, KY *
09.21 – The Bottom Lounge – Chicago, IL *
09.22 – Cedar Cultural Center – Minneapolis, MN *
09.24 – Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO *
09.25 – Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT *
09.26 – The Venue – Caldwell, ID *
09.27- Barboza – Seattle, WA *
09.28 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR *
09.30 – Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA *

* with True Widow



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New Single: “Deficit” from Russian Circles

russian circles

the engulfing, ominous, potent song “Deficit” debuted today on Pitchfork

The band’s fifth album Memorial will be out October 29, 2013 on Sargent House.






Oct 12, 2013 – Prague, CZ @ Meet Factory

Oct 13, 2013 – Linz, AT @ Posthof

Oct 14, 2013 – Bologna, IT @ Locomotiv Club

Oct 15, 2013 – Zurich, CH @ Rote Fabrik

Oct 16, 2013 – Fribourg, CH @ Fri-son

Oct 18, 2013 – Barcelona, ES @ Apolo

Oct 19, 2013 – Madrid, ES @ Shoko Live

Oct 20, 2013 – Porto, PT @ Amplifest

Oct 21, 2013 – Bilbao, ES @ Kafe Antzokia

Oct 23, 2013 – Paris, FR @ Divan Du Monde

Oct 24, 2013 – Brighton, UK @ The Haunt

Oct 25, 2013 – Manchester, UK @ Gorilla

Oct 26, 2013 – Glasgow, UK @ SWG3

Oct 27, 2013 – Dublin, IRE @ Button Factory

Oct 29, 2013 – London, UK @ Electric Ballroom

Oct 30, 2013 – Gent, BE @ Vooruit

Oct 31, 2013 – Karlsruhe, DE @ Jubez

Nov 1, 2013 – Utrecht, NI @ Tivoli de Helling

Nov 2, 2013 – Koln, DE @ Stollwerck

Nov 3, 2013 – Hamburg, DE @ Club Logo

Nov 6, 2013 – Helsinki, FIN @ Tavastia

Nov 7, 2013 – Oslo, NO @ Bla

Nov 8, 2013 – Gothenburg, SE @ Truckstop Alaska

Nov 9, 2013 – Copenhagen, DK @ KB18

Nov 10, 2013 – Berlin, DE @ C- Club


Nov 11, 2013 – Dresden, DE @ Beatpol

Nov 13, 2013 – Vienna, AT @ Szene

Nov 14, 2013 – Budapest, HU @ Durer Kert

Nov 15, 2013 – Belgrade, SR @ Bozidarac

Nov 16, 2013 – Zagreb, HR @ Mochvara Club

Nov 17, 2013 – Munich, DE @ Feierwerk

Nov 19, 2013 – Moscow, RU @ B2

Nov 20, 2013 – St. Petersburg, RU @ Club Zal

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