Melbourne artist Chelsea Wilson has been at the forefront of the Melbourne soul and jazz scene long before charming listeners with her debut album I Hope You’ll Be Very Unhappy Without Me in 2014. Riding the coattails of her debut album’s international success, Chelsea made her UK debut at Glastonbury Festival 2015, subsequently selling out the famous London Jazz Café, as well enjoying successes back home with the release being named #2 Album of the Year on ABC Radio National and nominated for Best Soul Album at The Age Music Victoria Awards 2014.
Chelsea’s highly anticipated second album Chasing Gold is due for release this autumn and sees Chelsea move into the rare-groove territory, fusing her love of early disco, epic pop and jazz. Produced by ARIA nominated composer/ bassist Ross McHenry (The Shaolin Afronauts), the album features lush string orchestration arranged by Ross Irwin (The Bamboos) and backing vocals by Jason Heerah and Thando Sikwila. The first single from the album ‘Real Love’, released late in 2018 reached #12 on the UK soul chart and now Chelsea is ready to unleash her next instalment ‘Breaking Down’ on Friday 15 February, ahead of her intimate performance at Melbourne’s Recital Centre.
A deeply personal song about an abusive domestic relationship, ‘Breaking Down’ sees Chelsea at her most heartfelt expressing her life challenges and triumphs through music. ‘Breaking Down’ takes the tempo down a notch from previous single ‘Real Love’, but despite the heavy theme, Wilson’s vocals are smooth and the track remains uplifting with help from backing vocalists Jason Heerah, Germaine McCarthy, Thando Sikwila and Molisi Tuanivi, plus that funky as heck guitar hook that builds and builds seemingly unnoticed and keeps you grooving until the end.
Having headlined the Arts Centre Melbourne stage at the Australasian World Music Expo and opening for Macy Gray on her last Australian tour, Chelsea is clearly no stranger to the local live scene, and is thrilled to be bringing a new intimate chamber disco incarnation of her live show called ‘The Chasing Gold Suite’ to the Melbourne Recital Centre Saloon on Saturday 23 February. The show will feature Chelsea singing backed by a string quartet, harpist Emily Rosner and Andy Boyle on piano for one night only.
Behind the scenes, Chelsea is the Artistic Director of Stonnington Jazz Festival and recently appeared as a speaker at The Lincoln Centre New York for Jazz Congress 2019. She is also Deputy Chair of Music Victoria, has been the curator for the ‘Women of Soul’ series featuring artists such as Kylie Auldist, Mojo Juju and Stella Angelico since 2011. As a DJ she has supported artists such as Booker T, Neneh Cherry, Hiatus Kaiyote and Cookin’ on 3 Burners, just to name a few, and is a regular Broadcaster for Mi-Soul Connoisseurs London and PBS 106.7FM in Melbourne.
‘Breaking Down’ – out Friday 15 February with a pre-order for the full album via Bandcamp.
Chasing Gold album is out Friday 15 March via House of Valerie Joan.
Chasing Gold Suite’
Saturday 23 February
Melbourne Recital CentreSalon
Chelsea Wilson with
Andy Boyle – Piano
Xani Kolac – Violin
Anita Quayle – Cello
Biddy Connor – Viola
Emily Rosner Harp
Germaine McCarthy – Vocals
Walter Saluni – Vocals
The show commences: 8pm