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Hiss Spun

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Jan 14, 2022

Hiss Spun is the fifth studio album by American singer-songwriter Chelsea Wolfe, released on September 22, 2017, by Sargent House.[1] The album was recorded in Salem, Massachusetts, at the studio of Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou.[2] Produced by Wolfe and Ben Chisholm, the album also features guitar contributions from Troy Van Leeuwen of Queens of the Stone Age and a guest appearance from Aaron Turner of Isis.[3]

2017 studio album by Chelsea Wolfe
Hiss Spun
Studio album by

Released September 22, 2017
Studio GodCity Studio
(Salem, Massachusetts)
Genre
Length 48:19
Label Sargent House
Producer
  • Chelsea Wolfe
  • Ben Chisholm
Chelsea Wolfe chronology
Abyss
(2015)
Hiss Spun
(2017)
Birth of Violence
(2019)

Hiss Spun received positive reviews from music critics, and peaked at No. 146 on the Billboard 200, becoming her second consecutive album to enter the chart.

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In an interview for Noisey, Wolfe explained that the album’s topics deal with her confronting various health issues: “I deal with extreme anxiety that gets exacerbated by bouts of insomnia […] I’m constantly trying to find ways to calm down… That has manifested into addiction at times [and] I carried a lot of that into this record, especially on ’16 Psyche’ and ‘Spun’.”[4]

Wolfe also disclosed that the album had been about coming to terms with issues both familial and personal. In the interview, she stated that “there were some things I hadn’t dealt with before, from the dark past of my family, to relationships I’d had, to my own health, some of the songs became a personal exorcism and some of them were written in dedication to the hardships that others have faced.”[4]

Wolfe announced Hiss Spun on June 14, 2017, coinciding with the release of “16 Psyche” as the first single from the album. NPR simultaneously released an article reviewing the song and previewing the album, whereupon writer Paula Mejia wrote, “The impetus for Hiss Spun stemmed from a reckoning with family history, personal life and other elements that have long shadowed Wolfe, and the resulting escapist music also functions as a kind of exorcism, an expunging of the soul. But what “16 Psyche” especially goes to show is that despite what’s going on in our own worlds and the one at large, the discovery of new ones — whether they’re made of fire or ice or even metal — is a worthy pursuit, and certainly one worth fighting for.”[5]

On July 5, Wolfe released a trailer for the album and announced dates for a North American tour with Youth Code in support of the album.[6][7]

“Vex” was the second track to be released from the album. Wolfe unveiled the song on July 27, revealing the contributions by Van Leeuwen and Turner.[8] In a letter published by The Fader on August 2, Wolfe described the process she went through to create the song: “‘Vex’ began almost as a black metal song, with a pummeling blast beat, then Ben (Chisholm) and I stripped it back to a more industrial electronic sound. Once we were in the studio, Jess Gowrie’s drums and Troy Van Leeuwen’s guitar parts began to shepherd it back toward its heavy origins… I knew from the beginning that I wanted Aaron Turner’s voice somewhere on this album, and could hear him in my head on ‘Vex’. I had already recorded my vocals for the song but decided to send it to Aaron without them on. Happily, the first time we played it back with both vocal parts they fit together in a very compelling way.”[9]

A promotional video was released for “16 Psyche” on August 14, accompanied by the Noisey interview.[10] Wolfe revealed two more of the album’s tracks shortly before its release, with both “The Culling” and “Offering” being made available online on September 7.[11]

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