Emily Wells - Mama

Emily Wells – Mama (2012)

Mind. Blown.

Just had to get that out there before I go into any detail about last night’s performance from Emily Wells at The Lexington. I’d listened to her 2012 album, Mama (Partisan Records), a few times before the show, seen some fantastic films on YouTube (embeds below)….but none of that came even close to preparing me for the incredible talent I witnessed yesterday evening.

I had my ‘Top of 2013’ lists all ready…but she’s completely flipped them – forget about Beyoncé’s surprise release….2013 is now “the year I discovered the music of Emily Wells”.

Where a certain artist – who I won’t name explicitly because I actually do love her music – gave me chills recorded but was a letdown live (lack of experience? nerves? bad sound? venue too big? I’ve been making excuses to myself ever since), Emily Wells surpassed any expectation I had before the gig.

She’s a supremely talented musician, a true artiste and radiates an ironically self-professed “Wells Charm” – with a mesmerising and somewhat siren-like voice that pierces the heart delivered impeccably over cinematic, ornate and intensely layered, live sampled instrumentation from synths, percussion…and live violin (she managed to incorporate a Vivaldi Violin Concerto into her performance).

The last time a solo artist struck me in a similar way was when I saw Abi Wade – and Emily Wells took that to another level.

I’d heard her cover of Haddaway’s “What Is Love?” just earlier in the day – but yesterday we were treated to her lively take on “Fever”:

A little bit about Emily Wells herself – her song, “Becomes the Color” featured on the soundtrack to the movie Stoker and she’s a producer, singer and composer who blends classical and modern instrumentation with hip hop and experimental dance music elements.

She’s based in New York, currently signed to Partisan Records,  has 7 “studio” albums, 1 acoustic album, 1 EP and 1 collaborative release to her name – and she’s covered “Juicy”. Yes – Notorious B.I.G’s “Juicy”.

Here’s “Mama’s Gonna Give You Love”:

And here’s the track the prompted me to go and see her live in the first place:

Emily Wells – Passenger