Dana Wells – The Evergreen EP

January 01, 1970

(self-released)

 

www.danawellsmusic.com

 

D.C.-area singer/songwriter Dana Wells previously did time
in teen rock band Lemonface, eventually attending the Berklee College of Music
in Boston and then
embarking upon a solo career. Though still impossibly young at 19 she displays
a musical finesse and lyrical fortitude that suggests the lessons of her early
woodshedding were well-learned. Blessed with a supple set of pipes that locates
a midway point between Juliana Hatfield and Sarah McLachlan and an accomplished
delivery to go with the pipes, Wells, on this seven-song debut, delivers an
even-handed blend of classic-tilting pop and sleek Americana that’s impressive
indeed.

 

The record, produced by noted local studio head Mark
Williams (who also contributes electric guitar), opens and closes on a pair of
obvious high notes: the twangy, jangly, spangly “Anyone But You,” which against
a midtempo, Tom Pettyish arrangement of guitars and organ, finds Wells offering
up her unconditional love (“… and I won’t do that for anyone else but you,” she
promises); and the lusher, elegant “Into You,” a piano- and violin-powered
waltztime number destined to find its way onto a TV show (are you listening, Grey’s Anatomy?). Yet the stealth gem,
for my money, is “We Come Undone,” on the surface a sunny, bouncy slice of New
Wave-flavored pop boasting a chorus that sinks its hooks so deep you’ll be
humming it in your sleep, yet with a distinctively dark narrative line about
how no matter how hard we work to get out and get ahead, sometimes life
conspires to just keep throwing spitballs at us. Sings Wells, “It could all be
so simple/ It could all be such fun/ But the world is unhappy/ And nothing can
be done/ We could all be so patient/ They could all be the one/ But we never
come together/ Oh, we come undone.” It’s a wise-beyond-her-years moment, and
utterly memorable.

 

If there’s any justice, when the Lilith Fair tour hits Washington in August Wells
will be one of the featured local performers. Come to think of it – she oughta
be ranked among the national performers. Her sound’s that big and bold and
beautiful.

 

Standout Tracks: “We
Come Undone,” “Evergreen,” “Into Air” FRED MILLS

 

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