Singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe might be one of the non-metal artists most loved and embraced by metal fans. Her eerie, echoing tracks touch on an organic darkness with which fans of bleak brutality can immediately identify. Now, Chelsea has teamed up with singer-songwriter Emma Ruth Rundle — whose collaboration with NOLA doom crew Thou made our 20 Best Albums of 2020 list — for a new single, “Anhedonia.”
As you’ll hear below, the song doesn’t go into the more aggressive realms that Wolfe and Rundle explore respectively. Instead, the collaboration is a languid, spooky one, with the vocalists sounding like ghosts on the American plains. It’s cool to hear both artists going all in on their inner darkness in one place.
“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,” says Wolfe of the track. “When COVID-19 hit and stay-at-home orders began in 2020, my European tour was canceled 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 [Chisholm] 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 romanticize 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.”
“I was moved to tears when [Chelsea] sent me ‘Anhedonia,'” says Rundle, “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.”
Listen to “Anhedonia” below:
“Anhedonia” is available to be streamed and purchased.
Words by Chris Krovatin