Music

C H E L S E A unveils an album steeped in dark electro-pop brilliance

Embers is C H E L S E A’s soundtrack of spellbinding folklore, enraptured by ethereal femininity and soaring vocal display.

Embers is the sophomore album of any artist’s dream. And dream she did. C H E L S E A is the project of Chelsea Stutchbury, a completely hypnotising songstress. She wields together elements of Scandinavian-inspired croons and harmonies with the symphonic soundscapes of an epic modern drama.

Like a collage-artist, Chelsea overlaps and weaves together the tapestries of dynamic arrangement. It’s not hard to believe that she is an honours student of contemporary music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Based in Bundaberg, her power of control and commanding musicianship is present at all times on her album Embers. The record boasts a fringe of electronica and dazzling operatic nuance. Insert appropriate phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes metaphor here.

Chelsea

Like all ethereal novellas, Embers begins with a sound-healing Prelude. Resonating and increasingly vibrational, the first full minute of the record is much like the tribal kong at the start of meditation. Chelsea opens the listener up with her breathy, transcendent vocals. Echoing and refracting off treated tones, you are immediately warmed to her bewitching thematics. Long May She Reign references the woodland ways of Norwegian pop star AURORA with looped battle cry-like chanting and jungly kick-drums.

Hauntingly dark, Call of Mara is the records ominous lullaby. Luring the enemy onto the rocks like a mythological Siren, Chelsea predicts tragedy with her seductive voice. Unwavering but with deep sadness, it’s a hymn you’d imagine accompanying a magical epilogue. Any song of Embers could equally represent those scenes, either right before The Battle of Helm’s Deep or right after (spoiler alert) Ragnar Lothbrok’s death in Vikings.

Ophelia steps into more triumphant moments. The literary figure of pure, watery martyrdom once again lends herself to musical glory. Chelsea adopts slinky electric guitar and drum machines to build a striking pace. From here Embers softens again into intriguing dreamlike arrangements. A romantic string section maintains the richness of her message on Bound. Whether unrequited or undying, Chelsea never stays from the core themes of deep love.

C H E L S E A is an unrelenting presence as a composer. And as a vocalist, she has the prowess of a priestess. With a new single since released called The Butterfly, you can enjoy her full catalogue on all the usual platforms.

Dive into Embers on Spotify below: