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Chelsea Cutler:Speaks to the soul

by Megan Bowles

Get your headphones on and the kettle boiling, Stellaria is here

Ever felt like someone knows you better than you know yourself? Have a listen to any Chelsea Cutler song and let her heart-piercing lyrics take you on a journey of your own heartbreaks past. The incredible relatability of her tracks is exactly what makes her music, and especially her new album Stellaria so raw. ‘I think that releasing art in general is a bit terrifying. Not so much because of the vulnerability packed into the art, but the inherent vulnerability with creating something that you think is sick, and wanting everyone else in the world to also perceive it as being sick’, she says, having released Stellaria in October after a two-year writing process.

The singer says she wants ‘people to sit with their emotions’, when listening to the album. ‘I think that in this day and age, it’s a tough task to even find 50 minutes to sit and listen to an album’, later going on to note the importance of trying to ‘confront and notice whatever you’re feeling’. She says ‘I just don’t think that society does that enough, particularly just with how inundated we are by social media and constant stimuli’.

Stellaria translates as ‘star’ in Latin, and was by no means an accident for Chelsea, who says that she feels like she ‘spent the last two years making this album and simultaneously learning to appreciate the process of life’. For her, ‘It’s very easy to focus on the outcome of things and not really enjoy every single day and that was something that was really, really a big learning experience for me the last couple of years’. A multitude of signs converged to the eventual naming of the album, including the Latin word popping up in place names when shooting content for the release. ‘The fact that I learned that Stellaria is the Latin name for chickweed felt crazy to me because they’re considered an everyday flower and if you look at them, they’re actually quite pretty. For some reason that just really resonated with me because I felt like it fit the theme of the album so well. Like, here’s the thing that on the daily people aren’t paying that much attention to and it’s actually really beautiful’.

The album is led by TikTok sensation ‘Your Bones’, which is the first song that Chelsea has openly dedicated to her girlfriend. The song has become the soundtrack to Chelsea’s fans sharing their love stories online and has especially resonated with the LGBTQIA+ community. The lyrics ‘I love you down to your bones/Naked and afraid, they tell me that’s when you know/I feel you takin’ me home/Dusk until thе dawn, you’re where I wanna go’, play in the background whilst couples share their journey in pictures from being ‘just friends’ to where they are now. The visualiser to ‘Your Bones’ was shot by Chelsea’s girlfriend, after she spent the summer recording on her Super 8 camera.

For some, it was 2021’s Platinim-Certified ‘You Were Good To Me’ in collaboration with Jeremy Zucker that brought Chelsea into their world, the single now having racked up over half a billion streams on Spotify alone. ‘I think the best part of collaboration is just getting to work with people who you’re genuinely a fan of’, she says when asked about what she looks for in an artist to create with. ‘For Stellaria getting to work with Matt Maeson was pretty much a dream come true. I’ve just been a diehard Maeson fan since I was in college, and since he was just posting stuff on SoundCloud, so that was really special’. Her ultimate collaboration would be ‘Sam Fender or Flume, two polar opposite artists, but could be really interesting either way’.

As the year comes to an end, Chelsea wrapped up 2023 with an acoustic tour across Europe, having just been to England in the days before we talked. One particular moment from her time in England stands out – her tour of Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium. ‘When I was a kid, it was Sir Alex’s years and they were so dominant. I think that I just fell in love with it – I just fell in love with all the players. I knew every player on that team, all their stats and everything about them’. These days her energy is spent ‘following the American Women’s National Team. I’m a big fan of them’, having dreamt as a child to be a professional football (or soccer) player.

Looking ahead to her 2024 ‘The Beauty is Everywhere’ tour, Chelsea says ‘I’m honestly just really looking forward to going on tour in America. It’ll be a year and a half since we headlined in America, and we’re doing some really legendary rooms that are bucketlist rooms for me so I think it’s gonna be really special. I’d love to get to Australia and I’d love to get to Southeast Asia – I just want to take [the tour] everywhere’.

Photographer
Ben Ritter
Styling & HMUA
Emma Wendorff
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