Chelsea Wolfe, returns with new single, Anhedonia, which features her Sargent House label mate, the equally revered Emma Ruth Rundle.
Following Wolfe‘s Birth of Violence, the reflective piece in Anhedonia continues the stripped-back dark aesthetic that dominated the brilliant 2019 release.
Mixed by Wolfe‘s right hand man, Ben Chisholm, Rundle‘s appearance adds another layer of beauty to the song.
For Rundle, it’s yet another fine coup, having released two collaborations with Thou both earlier this year in the The Helm of Sorrow EP and last year’s May Our Chambers Be Full. The latter making out Top 50 Albums of 2020 at number 8.
Speaking of the single, Wolfe says, “I wrote Anhedonia after I experienced it during summer of 2019, then tucked the song away and moved forward with my acoustic album and subsequent North American tour.
“When COVID-19 hit and stay-at-home orders began in 2020, my European tour was cancelled and I had to fly home. Restless, I started listening through my archives of unfinished songs and little unused ideas. When I heard Anhedonia again, it hit me how strangely relevant the lyrics felt to current times. I’d been wanting to work on a song with Emma for a long time, so I recorded it and sent it her way.
“She graciously added her gorgeous vocals and lead guitar, and then Ben mixed it, adding his signature sound landscape as a fortress around the song. As I listened back to the final version, I was finally able to set free those emotions which I couldn’t feel back in 2019. I had worries around releasing the song, not wanting to romanticise the condition of anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure), but I also understood that it could possibly be cathartic for others who are struggling, as it was for me, to sing and dance my way out of a depression.”
Rundle adds, “I was moved to tears when she sent me Anhedonia, which made getting through the tracking very emotional and slow on my end. I love the way the guitars I tracked morphed in Ben‘s mix. The whole song swirls in a poignant eddy of sorrowful sound and still takes a hard swing at my heart hearing it now.”
The accompanying video was produced by Cressa Beer which you can watch below.
Of the video, Cressa explains the idea behind it.
“The core idea of the video came from an artist and mutual friend that Chelsea and I both love – Jess Schnabel (Blood Milk Jewels) – who created a ‘grief moth’ inspired by real moths that drink the tears of sleeping birds. It’s an idea I’ve wanted to animate for a while. So, that became the backbone of the project: the lifecycle of a moth literally born from overwhelming sadness. From there, the video grew into a reflection of what I was experiencing during quarantine, as I found myself confronting my own grief and deeply rooted trauma. I suffer from PTSD that envelops me like a black void. I wanted to visually articulate how that feels, as well as feelings like disassociation and loneliness; the way that trauma can physically alter your body and mentally reshape the world around you. But still, the moth can fight its way out, can fly, can follow the light; just like the comfort in the final verse of the song, I wanted to still show that healing is possible.”
Ahedonia is out now via Sargent House. Purchase from Bandcamp.