Songwriters: Emily Wells
“Quietly transfixing” composer / producer Emily Wells is known for her varied use of classical and modern instrumentation, “a master of blending the worlds of classical and electronics” (NPR) and “dramatic, meticulous and gothic songs” (New York Times). On stage Wells’ builds a “new instrument” out of acoustic and electronic drums, synth, violin, and her evocative performances leave audiences equal parts dancing and grieving.
Continuing the work begun on her acclaimed 2019 album This World is Too _____ For You, Emily Wells’ newest release In The Dark Moving reimagines the original tracks hailed by NPR as “visionary” and “mind-blowing.” Initially commissioned by Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series and Metropolis Ensemble, this latest recording offers a thoughtful, minimal companion piece to the original music in the form of Wells, her guitars, and nothing else. Recorded solely by Wells in her Harlem studio during the summer of 2019, she reflects, “I’m interested in getting another look at a song, both in performance and recording. It keeps the song a living thing. I began working on these recordings out of curiosity. I wanted them to be the sort of thing a person could put on quietly at the end of the day on a little speaker and watch the light drain.”
“The new songs are the rub between desire for, and desire to strip oneself of all wanting” Wells says of the new material, which clamors around all the edges, and sometimes into the center of our collective uncertainties.
“I grew up with hymns and I often find myself drawn to a form that seeks redemption, even for transgressions unknown... they are an offering, an oath. As a queer kid raised in the south and the midwest by a music minister and a preacher's daughter I am interested in the reclamation of themes and ideas that have often been used to constrain me.” Of Wells’ video work, which accompanies her performances, she says, “the video and the songs are mirrors of one another: grace, the body, movement, and the natural world, beating against our windows, drunk with the answer.”
My work bridges pop and chamber music and explores concepts around human relation to the natural world rooted in a love for both. I am interested in the ways performance and recordings influence one another and I work in both realms. My work also interacts with my video practice through projection at performances which intersects imagery of contemporary dance, extreme weather and effects of climate crisis, and protest footage from ACT UP.
Emily Wells “Mama’s Gonna Give You Love” in Mistresses (ABC)
Emily Wells “Mama’s Gonna Give You Love” in Bates Motel Season 3 promo
Emily Wells “Los Angeles” in Awkward (MTV)
Emily Wells “No Good” in Awkward (MTV)
Emily Wells “Symphony 6: Fair Thee Well & The Requiem Mix” in Dancing With The Stars (ABC)
Emily Wells “Becomes the Color” in Stoker (film)
Emily Wells “Johnny Cash’s Mama’s House” in Washington Heights (MTV)
Emily Wells "Antidote (Live Arrangement)" in Runaways (Hulu)
Emily Wells "O Holy Night" in Riverdale (CW)
Emily Wells "Mama's Gonna Give You Love" in Sharp Objects (HBO)
Emily Wells "Stay Up" in Nike BETRUE - NOBODY Wins Alone (Ad)