Ex-DELAIN Singer CHARLOTTE WESSELS Reveals 'The Obsession' Album Details

May 17, 2024

After announcing the release of her new studio album for September 20, charismatic Dutch singer/songwriter Charlotte Wessels (ex-DELAIN) has unveiled the album's title together with the first single. Titled "The Obsession", the album marks Wessels's Napalm Records debut, and while her earlier solo endeavors — full-length song compilations "Tales From Six Feet Under" (2021) and "Tales From Six Feet Under Vol. II" (2022) — already gained her a remarkable number of devotees, "The Obsession" truly takes her career to the next level.

The new album promises a cohesive exploration of fear and liberation, as well as spellbinding melancholia and dark, catchy elements meeting progressive and heavier soundscapes. The storytelling within the songs gives the multifaceted album even more depth, making "The Obsession" an exciting listening experience and Wessels's most mature solo offering so far.

First single "The Exorcism" is astonishing proof of Wessels's matchless talent and genre-bending songwriting qualities, and in addition, marks the heaviest solo offering she has released so far. Quietly drawing the listener into this sonic sphere, the song bursts into a heavy attack shortly after. It's calm and loud, reduced and bombastic, fragile and confident alike and presents Charlotte Wessels's thrilling full vocal range — heating up the anticipation for everything that's to come. "The Exorcism" is now available on all streaming services worldwide, and fans can now experience the official high-quality video below.

Wessels states about "The Exorcism": "I've been thinking a lot about fears and behaviors I've had since I was a child, and how at certain moments in life I thought I'd overcome them for good, but they'd always rear their ugly heads again in time. I keep wondering why. Did I invite them back in? 'The Exorcism' is a call for these demons to stay away — but also a message to myself and others facing similar challenges, to hang on – even if they don't."

While still writing and producing the songs in her Six Feet Under basement home studio and sharing their first incarnations with her patrons, Wessels now takes the songs from her new album, "The Obsession", to the next level with a band of her fellow ex-DELAIN cohorts Timo Somers (guitars, additional arrangements),Otto Schimmelpenninck Van Der Oije (bass) and Joey Marin De Boer (drums) as well as Sophia Vernikov (piano/Hammond),contributing to the new heavier sound. The album also features arrangements by Vikram Shankar (SILENT SKIES, PAIN OF SALVATION),cello by Elianne Anemaat, was mixed by Guido Aalbers (MUSE, COLDPLAY, THE GATHERING) and was mastered by Andy VanDette (PORCUPINE TREE, VOLA, DREAM THEATER).

Wessels about the new album: "On the one hand, this album tells a very personal story — through its unintended theme of fear, obsessive thoughts and the escapes from them — and at the same time it represents the joy of finding the song's true forms with everyone involved in the making of this record. That's why I chose 'The Obsession' as a title. It refers to my personal challenges with OCD that inspired many of the songs — but I've also started referring to the band as 'the obsession' because there were moments in the studio with them that truly reminded me of why I'm obsessed with making music in the first place."

Themes of fear, obsessive thoughts and escapism run rampant on the album, presenting dark and heavy on songs like "The Exorcism", "The Crying Room" and "Ode To The West Wind" (featuring Alissa White-Gluz of ARCH ENEMY). In addition, there are songs that offer a more upbeat approach to the subject — like "Dopamine" (featuring Simone Simons of EPICA) which deals with SSRI-induced numbness, or "Praise" — which sings the gospel of needing external validation in order to feel anything. The reimagining of fan favorite "Soft Revolution" won't leave a dry eye in the room, while "Soulstice" and "Serpentine" present an unprecedented dark sensuality. Each song itself functions like an exorcism, an attempt to cast out a little of the fear it deals with.

Wessels states about the guests: "I'm extremely grateful and proud to add Simone Simons and Alissa White-Gluz to the lineup of this album. They are creative powerhouses that I have so much love and respect for. Whenever we get to work together is an absolute treat and they really elevated the songs with their performances."

"The Obsession" track listing:

01. Chasing Sunsets
02. Dopamine
03. The Exorcism
04. Soulstice
05. The Crying Room
06. Ode To The West Wind
07. Serpentine
08. Praise
09. All You Are
10. Vigor And Valor
11. Breathe
12. Soft Revolution (2024)

Photo credit: Tim Tronckoe

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