(Photo Credit: Owen Ela)
Singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe has released a new song, “Grey Days,” which will be on her upcoming album, Abyss. The new Wolfe album is due out on August 7th, 2015.
The first details about Abyss began to emerge in April, when Wolfe announced the album title and tracklist. And, at the same time, she released “Iron Moon,” which was the album’s first single. June saw her releasing “Carrion Flowers,” and its complimentary music video. And, most recently earlier in July, Wolfe released another new song, called “After The Fall.”
Abyss is the follow up to her debut, Pain Is Beauty, which was released in 2013.
So, what is the overall theme of Abyss? And, where did inspiration for “Grey Days” originate?
“For this album I was interested in the subconscious, or unconscious mind, approaching it like a warehouse full of memories and emotions to be confronted,” Wolfe told Billboard in a recent interview. “The title [‘Grey Days’] came from a conversation with someone I met on the road who had been in prison. He called that time his ‘grey days.’ It’s about something holding you back.”
“In the song, [what’s holding you back is] represented very internally,” she said in that same interview with Billboard. “[It was] inspired by the Hayao Miyazaki film, Princess Mononoke, where darkness is represented by an iron ball as a sort of demon that ruins you from the inside out.”
The verses of the song describe what it’s like to be in a prison of your own making. She goes on in the lyrics to question herself, and her choices, when she sings: “How many years have I been sleeping? / How many hours did I throw away?” And, “Why does everything feel so unnamed? / The poison inside helps me along.”
But, rather than take some time to reflect on these questions, “Grey Day,” descends back into the unfeeling unconscious mind and preferring to remain comfortably numb, instead of taking a leap and perhaps beginning to feel something. This change is evident when Wolfe sings: “Like the morphine, you take it all away / Pretend it’s ok.”
“The song is a battle,” she said in an interview with Billboard.
Her description of the song being “a battle” fits perfectly with the contrasting sounds that are present in the track. On the one hand, there is a heavy industrial instrumentation that is anchored by a looping drumbeat; and, on the other, there is Wolfe’s ethereal vocals. Taken together, these seemingly opposite parts unite to create a finished product that is, both, haunting and captivating.
Check it out: