The audio for ‘Don’t Use Me Up’ by Emily Wells was actually put out at the start of 2016 but it wasn’t until the recent release of the video that it caught our attention.
Speaking of the track, Wells said “Don’t Use Me Up’ was among the first songs written for the album some time ago during a time of particular abandon. I joke that it’s a song about whiskey, friendship and Jesus, but in truth it was an s.o.s. to myself, to my future self, to people I loved, intended to remind us that the body is finite. As time passes so grows the meaning of the song and I now think most often of the finiteness of the planet when I sing it. The recording is one shade shy of a gospel hangover with all the instruments tempted to come off the rails when things get too quiet.”
‘Don’t Use Me Up’ is taken from the album Promise which came out in January this year.
Press for Promise has been positive with quotes such as:
“Wells marks herself out as something truly special…Promise is a record like few others – both tangible and smoky, guttural and delicate, it treads atop a thin sheet of ice throughout, yet remains unafraid to bask in the warmth of its creator.” – DIY
“[Promise] is beguiling. A fusion of arcing synthscapes, lugubrious grooves and shrill confessionals, it belongs next to the Cocteaus, PJ Harvey and Julia Holter in your baroque-pop playlist.” – Uncut
The full video can be found below. Speaking of the video’s inception, Wells says: “It began by me attending his ballet class, taught each week at S.A.G.E. in New York, a center for elderly queers. I kept going back each week, plie-ing with the geriatrics. I was enamored with Dunn, his humor, the grace revealed in each movement, a lifetime of grace revealed in his 81 year old frame. My girlfriend, Samantha Nye, a painter and video artist who directed and edited the video, approached it with an aim to capture Dunn’s movement, his face, and the intimacy between student and teacher. The few hours of filming that day, being moved by Dunn, dancing with him, watching him, gave me a profound new gravity, and both reminded and revealed to me what it is to be an artist.”