10 Songs, 36 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Emily Wells has a unique voice, one that is equal parts honey and stinger: it’s a sweet, syrupy enticement, but there are clear implications of darker things to come. Wells is also a virtuoso musician, and she dabbles in electronica, shades of folk and jazz, even classical and hip-hop, creating interesting tableaux and textures that are by turns airy and luminous, and spare and haunting. Her second full-length, Symphonies… is as complex and beguiling as its name might imply, but it never weighs down in intellectual phoniness or theatrics. From her cascading trill and the ominous flutter of strings on opener “In the Barrel of a Gun” to the stunning finale, “Could This Really Be the End?” Symphonies is filled with delightful and charming things (toy piano, samba rhythms, hummingbird energy), as well as slightly sinister, unsettling flourishes (spidery string plucking, bone-dry percussive clattering, and spookily cinematic arrangements). She’s turned down label offers in order to preserve her artistic vision, and in these times it’s not clear it matters — you found her, after all. We now suggest headphones, and a reclining position. Carry on.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Emily Wells has a unique voice, one that is equal parts honey and stinger: it’s a sweet, syrupy enticement, but there are clear implications of darker things to come. Wells is also a virtuoso musician, and she dabbles in electronica, shades of folk and jazz, even classical and hip-hop, creating interesting tableaux and textures that are by turns airy and luminous, and spare and haunting. Her second full-length, Symphonies… is as complex and beguiling as its name might imply, but it never weighs down in intellectual phoniness or theatrics. From her cascading trill and the ominous flutter of strings on opener “In the Barrel of a Gun” to the stunning finale, “Could This Really Be the End?” Symphonies is filled with delightful and charming things (toy piano, samba rhythms, hummingbird energy), as well as slightly sinister, unsettling flourishes (spidery string plucking, bone-dry percussive clattering, and spookily cinematic arrangements). She’s turned down label offers in order to preserve her artistic vision, and in these times it’s not clear it matters — you found her, after all. We now suggest headphones, and a reclining position. Carry on.

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4:48
2:52
4:28
3:19
3:58
2:45
3:30
4:19
3:54

About Emily Wells

Emily Wells' songwriting combines electronics, orchestral strings, jazz structures, pop sensibilities, and vibrato-laden vocals into one eclectic package. A former child prodigy, she began fielding offers from record labels during her teenage years. Wells balked at the idea of relinquishing creative control to a team of producers, however, and independently toured the country to support her music instead. After relocating to Los Angeles, she built a home studio and set to work on her debut album. Beautiful Sleepyhead and the Laughing Yaks arrived in 2006 and flaunted 14 tracks that were written, performed, produced, and mixed by Wells herself. A second album, The Symphonies: Dreams Memories & Parties, followed in 2008, featuring help from bassist Joey Reina and drummer Sam Halterman. Wells' continued success landed her a deal with Partisan Records, who put out her third outing, Mama, in 2012. Over the next few years, Wells worked steadily, playing concerts and benefitting from prominent music placement on television. Wells released her next album, Promise, early in 2016 on her Thesis And Instinct label. ~ Andrew Leahey

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