Emily Wells plays songs from her ambitious new album “The Symphonies: Dreams Memories and Parties” on this falls’ (all girl) Hotel CafÃ© tour with Rachael Yamagata, Meiko, Thao Ngyuen, Kate Havnevik and Lenka. But first, she’ll kick off with a series of solo gigs in Southern California. See tour dates below!
In this episode of Tuned-In, Nic introduces five essential new albums: Sigur Ros with their new single Gobbledigook, The Dandy Warhols’ album Earth to the Dandy Warhols, Emily Wells’s compilation of new symphonies, South America’s Bajofondo’s album Mardulce and the highly anticipated first album Partie Traumatic from The Black Kids.
Hear “Symphony 6: Fair Thee Well and Requiem Mix”
Press Fall for Emily:
Choke on Your Pop Culture:
“….SymphoniesÅ ” is a hard-hitting, yet delicate half-rap-half-classical surprise. The violins are just the backdrop….She left several major record deals to ride the indie train. She definitely made the right decision. If not, she would’ve been just another whimsical singer. *cringe*
The Reviewer Mag
“This is music that you can listen to over and over for ages.”
“This LA based singer-songwriter has quickly captured the attention of all listeners through her captivating voice, bringing to mind such artists as Coco Rosie and Joanna Newsom. However, Emily separates herself from the pack with her one of a kind orchestral trip-hoperatic sound, playing up to 21 separate tracks of violin on each of the ten symphonies which comprise her latest full length.”
“….no one raises the bar for exquisitely crafted, orchestral (and danceable) indie folk like Emily Wells, who’s celebrating the release of her ambitious new album. The Symphonies: Dreams Memories and Parties has been years in the making, and its soaring arrangements and heartbreaking harmonies are well worth the wait.”
KCRW’s Top Tune: July 8th
“Emily Wells is a truly independent artist who has shunned publishers and labels to retain her creative freedom. She’s so lo-fi that instead of looping layers of violin, she decided to record 21 separate tracks. ”
“Emily Wells is a mutli-talented LA-based musician. I say “musician” because “singer” and/or “songwriter” would seem to belittle her talents. Her new album, The Symphonies: Dreams Memories & Parties, is a collection of beautiful, lush songs. Each one is chock full of more violins than I can count. Wells uses those strings to create rolling sonic textures that remind the listener of peak My Bloody Valentine (minus the mind blowing reverb).”
Live Dates including solo shows and Hotel CafÃ© tour dates
September 11th: San Diego, Casbah (opening for Mirah)
September 12th: LA, Troubadour (opening for Mirah)
Sept 18th: LA, Hotel CafÃ© (
Oct 30th: New York, Bowery Ballroom- Hotel CafÃ© Tour
Nov 1st: Brooklyn, Music Hall of Williamsburg – Hotel CafÃ© Tour
Nov 5th: New York, Zipper Room
Nov 11th: Denver, Bluebird- Hotel CafÃ© Tour
Nov 12: SLC, Avalon Theater – Hotel CafÃ© Tour
Nov 13th: Boise, Knitting Factory – Hotel CafÃ© Tour
Nov 14th: Portland, Doug Fir – Hotel CafÃ© Tour
Nov-15th: Seattle, Chop Suey – Hotel CafÃ© Tour
Nov 17th: San Francisco, Great American Music Hall- Hotel CafÃ© Tour
Nov 18th: LA, Henry Fonda – Hotel CafÃ© Tour
Who Is Emily Wells?
Emily Wells is an anomaly among musicians most of whom spend their careers striving for a major label deal. Before she was old enough to vote, a major label was courting Wells, two music-publishing companies were competing for the rights to her songs and she was recording with well known producers. By the time she was legally buying her first drink, however, Emily had chosen a different path. With true indie ethos, she moved from New York, leaving in her wake a lucrative deal from a major label, the renowned producers, recording studios, and a manager. During that period of her life, Emily had been offered everything that most musicians want. Everything except what she, as an artist, needed most: creative control.
Attaining the ever-elusive artist’s dream of creative control, as Wells would soon learn, comes only at a price. Wells’ cost was the thousands of miles logged, traipsing across country, playing in and outside of bars, pubs, and juke joints. She traveled in a tiny car, dragging along guitars, a tiny bass, a giant old Linn 9000 drum machine, and a four track. When flush, Emily would spend the occasional night in a seedy motel room where she would tirelessly record with her archaic four-track and dirty old instruments. Emily didn’t look back to her swank days as a would-be priority artist on a major label and regret any of her choices.
Landing in Los Angeles, Wells learned through recording and performing, how to have the creative control she craved. She built her own studio, she taught herself how to record and produce. This is the studio in which she would create, record, mix, and produce “The Symphonies: Dreams Memories & Parties” her latest release. To get the sound of a full orchestra, Emily didn’t take the easy way out and simply loop the layers of violins; instead, she played up to 21 separate tracks of violin on each symphony, often using an octave pedal to create the tones of an underwater cello or viola. In addition to the strings, there is a plethora of other sounds, electronic and organic alike. Two years ago, Wells found a bassist, Joey Reina, and a drummer, Sam Halterman, who add a richness to both the live show and the recordings. Their contributions to “The Symphonies” give the compositions more depth as well as a little junk in the trunk.
Prior to “The Symphonies”, Emily released “Beautiful Sleepyhead and the Laughing Yaks” to an ever widening audience and much critical acclaim. NPR featured the album on “All Songs Considered Open Mic” and Reviewer Magazine raved, “Å SleepyheadÅ has some of the best, most well written music and gorgeous female vocals ever.” iTunes also featured Wells as an Indie Spotlight Artist.