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Exclusive: Emily Wells Covers Neil Young's 'Philadelphia'

Emily Wells
Photo by Shervin Lainez

The singer-songwriter gives a haunting rendition of Neil Young's ballad.

Emily Wells, a classically trained violinist, is a multi-instrumentalist (she also plays viola, drums, synth, guitar, and bass) who builds a cocoon of gear and instruments around her when she performs live onstage as a one-woman band to layer her signature ethereal vocals with bewitching strings and beats.

She recently collaborated with artist Amy Cutler and hairdresser Adriana Papaleo to create an immersive and interactive installation inspired by the aesthetics of Cutler's paintings. Wells's piece, touching on various acts of "unburdening," reflected on the fact that both she and her father came out at nearly the same time. As we wait for her new album, titled "Promise," to release January 29, 2016, on her new label, Wells shared her cover of the song "Philadelphia," written by Neil Young.

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As Wells tells Out:

"Bruce Springsteen's 'Streets of Philadelphia' has been a stone in my pocket since the moment I heard it and somehow overshadowed 'Philadelphia,' the simple melodic song by Neil Young. I discovered it separate from the film, late to the party, a while ago, and knew I had always needed it. For a queer kid raised by a long line of preachers, the idea of seeing the light and knowing you'll be all right was enough to make it more of an anthem than a lullaby. I won't be ashamed of love."

Emily Wells's album, 'Promise,' releases Jan 29. Listen to her cover of "Philadelphia" below:

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