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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