Hear Emily Wells' Heartbreaking Ode To L.A. : All Songs Considered The singer and violinist Emily Wells is originally from Amarillo, Texas, but has since relocated to Los Angeles. On her latest album, Mama Acoustic Recordings, she sings a heartbreaking song about her new home and the people she loves there.
NPR logo Song Premiere: Emily Wells, 'Los Angeles'

Song Premiere: Emily Wells, 'Los Angeles'

Emily Wells
/Courtesy of the artist

Singer and violinist Emily Wells was one of our favorite discoveries at last year's South by Southwest music festival. Her 2012 album Mama was a surprising and beautiful mix of hip-hop beats and strings, with folk-flavored pop arrangements. Now Wells is back with a re-imagined, all-acoustic version of Mama, with the songs stripped bare and her voice more fragile than ever. Mama Acoustic Recordings also reorders the original tracks and features one brand-new song, a moody ode to the city of angels called "Los Angeles." The album is out in June, but you can hear that song right now.

Emily Wells
/Courtesy of the artist

Song Premiere

Los Angeles

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/176244396/176227399" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • from Mama Acoustic Recordings
  • by Emily Wells

"'Los Angeles' might come off as a brokenhearted tale and perhaps in some ways it is," Wells tells us via email. "But above all else it is a song about friendship, longing and love of city and the ones you loved there. Los Angeles, with all its romance and lore, seems to be the kind of place people want to croon to like a lover and I'm no exception. Perhaps because it holds so much tortured beauty or perhaps because once you've fallen in love with it, a part of you is smitten forever."

Wells said she decided to record acoustic versions of the songs on Mama to "put a silence around things," much the way life quiets and grows still over time. Mama Acoustic Recordings is due out June 11.