Emily Wolfe – Mechanical Hands EP


I feel like I need a soundtrack to my summer. Does anyone else feel like that? You need a set of anthems that you can emote and dance to during the hottest days of the year, days that hold the most promise for adventure, change, and fun. Considering what my summer soundtrack has been made of the past few years (from CocoRosie to First Aid Kit), I feel confident that Emily Wolfe’s second album, Mechanical Hands, will be a main part of my playlist this coming season.

Upon first listen to the title track, “Mechanical Hands,” I instinctively nodded my head along to a familiar sound that felt like my thousandth listen to Rilo Kiley’s “More Adventurous,” or even the xx. Wolfe’s sound is something that college girls and femme-indie-rock fans alike will smile along with and appreciate for its fresh burst of energy.

The song “Mechanical Hands” spends a long time gathering momentum and building to the point when the lyrics finally appear. She creates a space where the listener accumulates some anticipation that allows her lyrics about a cold, mechanical romance. Again and again in her songs, she boldly puts an emotion out there as if waiting for the listeners to respond. (I can only imagine that she hits this home while playing live.) Some of her most striking words – “mechanical hands giving love I need / oh your hands are so unsettling … heaven is a place in my memory / metal’s rushed and the wire’s cracked / oh stop loving the things that can’t love you back” – illustrated an image of a “tin man” of sorts, cold and stiff, unable to respond with affection. Or perhaps it’s a fear within herself of anything unwelcoming and mechanical. We are left to interpret as we wish.

I came across a quote from Wolfe on her website (emilywolfemusic.com) that encompasses her upbeat and badass image. She said, “I don’t want to be a writer with mechanical hands; I want to be an innovator – an artist who is constantly evolving.” Her voice is anything but mechanical and she has certainly evolved since her debut album. Her music could be on its way to being considered innovative, but for now all I know is that I want to listen to her indie rock songs all summer.

Check out Emily Wolfe’s EP Release Party with special guests The Tontons and OVRLD favorite Walker Lukens at Holy Mountain (617 E 7th St) on May 25th.

– Bailey Cool