“Quietly transfixing” violinist, singer, producer and composer Emily Wells is known for her varied use of classical and modern instrumentation, deft approach to live sampling, and “dramatic, meticulous and gothic songs” (New York Times) that blend “traditionalism with electronic ambiance” (NPR).

Fresh off the premiere of Emily Wells’ new work “This World is Too _____ For You”, commissioned by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series and masterfully arranged for strings, horn and percussion by Michi Wiancko, Wells is reimagining these and other new songs for a few select solo performances before taking them into the recording studio. She aims to learn more about the songs from live performance and engagement with familiar audiences.

“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.”

Wells’ new video work will accompany the performances of which she says, “the video and the songs are mirrors of one another: human failing, desire, grace, the body, movement, muted gutting, and the natural world, beating against our windows, drunk with the answer.”

Formed in upstate New York, now based in San Francisco, YASSOU is a six piece art pop band that makes tightly composed music with integrity. Anchored by the mesmerizing stage presence of lead singer Lilie Hoy, YASSOU employs unconventional song structures, shifting time signatures, and stunning video story lines.

Compared to the likes of Radiohead and FKA twigs, Billboard recently named YASSOU a band that “should to be on your radar”, while Delusions of Adequacy called them “what the people want.”

Their 2013 EP In Fits In Dreams garnered widespread press attention. A striking collection of songs, it features the vocals of former Smashing Pumpkins’ bassist Melissa Auf Der Maur. In 2015, they released an untitled Video EP, a six song project crafted around a singular story and emotional experience. Released in an “album cycle” of single videos, NYLON pronounced the EP as “redefining the album” in our current era of digital democracy. The videos were created and co-directed by Hoy, alongside various Bay Area artists and exemplifies YASSOU’s creative allure.

YASSOU premiered their first full-length composition at the Louisville Ballet in September 2016 to standing ovations. Alongside the works of Tchaikovsky and Philip Glass, their performance was part of the 2016-17 season and was accompanied by the Louisville Symphony and the ballet’s original choreography. YASSOU began 2016 opening for The National and is now filming their next video project.

“You fall in love with their sound, their image, and their message all at the same time,” wrote Apes on Tape in a 2015 interview. Dark yet ethereal, YASSOU embodies an art that is bold, emotional, and immediate.



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