Chelsea Wolfe shares Joni Mitchell cover, new song, and 2019 tour documentary
Chelsea Wolfe has put out two previously unreleased songs from the sessions for 2019's folky Birth of Violence: a cover of Joni Mitchell's classic "Woodstock" and the original song "Green Altar." Chelsea says:
While preparing for the ‘Birth of Violence’ tour, I was watching a lot of Joni Mitchell videos. A 1966 Canadian performance that I found of hers ended up inspiring the video for my song ‘Highway.’ One night after working on the live set, Ben and I were hanging out and I was just letting the Joni videos roll.. ‘Woodstock’ came on and I started singing along. After that I simply asked Ben if he’d be into covering it with me for the tour, and we just went back into the studio and started working it out. The cover came together quite naturally and it was a treat to play on stage every night. Joni is obviously such a big inspiration to this side of my music, so it felt right to pay tribute to her.”
‘Green Altar’ is a cherished song that unfortunately didn’t make it onto the album. It’s a love song I wrote after finding out that my dear friends (artist) Bill Crisafi and (designer) Hogan McLaughlin were engaged. I envisioned them getting married in a lush, green outdoor space outside of some majestic castle ruins.
Chelsea really makes the Joni cover her own, with a haunting, minimal rendition that sounds like it could've fit on Birth of Violence, and "Green Altar" is another great one too, as show-stopping as any of the proper album tracks. Listen to both below.
Along with these new songs, Chelsea also released a Birth of Violence tour documentary, directed, shot and edited by Bobby Cochran. She says:
It’s not my natural inclination to want cameras around when I’m in my head or doing vocal warmups before a show, or when I’m with friends or family backstage, but Bobby asked, and in the spirit of pushing myself to document that era of my musical life, I welcomed him along. Then, after the COVID-19 pandemic hit and I had to fly home from the European acoustic tour before I got to play a single show of it, I was so grateful that he had this footage and was putting it together. I wanted to share this documentary for that reason as well, for those who had tickets to cancelled shows (I love you!), and as a sort of wave goodbye to the time I spent focused on ‘Birth of Violence’, as I’m now making plans for and in the headspace of the next new album.
Stay tuned for more on that new album, and watch the tour doc and stream the new songs below...