Emily West has created a lush, cinematic EP resembling, according to her, a “dark Disney record.” Symphonies at once pays tribute to the sadness-tinged yearnings of a torch singer while combining with West’s soaring aspiration, resulting in a collection that bursts with the grit and hope of Dorothy in Wizard of Oz and resides on the Hollywood 101. The EP will be released on August 18th.
Recorded with producer and co-writer Daniel Tashian, Symphonies showcases West’s ability to remain both vocally powerful and delicate. West serves as a tour guide through landscapes as diverse as lonely French boulevards, smoky Tarantino saloons and wistful sunsets over the City of Angels. She slips seamlessly from vocal vamping in her James Bond inspired “Heaven and Back,” with its dark, stealthy fringes and lavish dramatic core, to a confused vulnerability in “Don’t Ever Go to Paris (When You’re Lonely),” with soaring, tender vocals and lyrics full of sarcastic contradictions. The title track, “Symphonies,” retreats into West’s personal reveries, from the intimate to the grandiose. Symphonies is a fairytale for the broken hearted sung in the lightest of pinks. It also combines tears and laughter, nostalgia and hope.
A Waterloo, Iowa, native, West moved to Nashville at the age of 18 where she signed with Capitol Records and released “Rocks in Your Shoes,” which landed in the top 40 on Billboard’s Hot Country charts. Her duet with Keith Urban, “Blue Sky,” likewise found a home in the top 40, met with critical praise, and was nominated for the Academy of Country Music Awards’ vocal event of the year in 2008. She eventually moved to New York, feeling stifled by the industry’s tendency to put its artists in boxes, and auditioned for the 9th season of America’s Got Talent, where she landed as the immensely popular runner up. Following her success on the show, she signed with Sony Masterworks and released her debut album All For You.
West is a singer, songwriter, and performer who defies easy categorization. Particularly striking about West is not only her powerhouse voice and her dazzling artistry, but also her ability to straddle seeming opposites to create captivating dualities of style and composition.