Dana Wells — she’s a new name, voice and musical vision to be remembered. Y’know, as in, ‘hey, I heard her when and knew it then.’ With her solo debut disc, The Evergreen EP, she’s already something of a seasoned veteran of the rock stage and recording studio at 19 years old. At the same time she’s a fresh, still burgeoning talent destined to make her mark, and a notable and enjoyable one at that.
We’re not the only ones saying such, by the way. “Listen with your eyes closed and you’d swear local singer-songwriter Dana Wells couldn’t possibly be only 19,” observes The Washington Post. “There’s a settled maturity to the lyrics and tempered voice of this strummy smartie that’s usually reserved for older artists.”
It takes but a listen to The Evergreen EP to hear how Wells is already well beyond precocity with a preternatural musical promise that asserts she’s ready to forge her place in contemporary popular music. Within a lovely and lush musical setting, she strikes a balance between rock and pop with splashes of Americana and folk. With her assured voice, Dana delivers eloquent lyricism and literate poetics with genuine feeling, honesty and verve.
At the heart of her music is the influence of her parents’ collection of rock, pop, jazz and soul records she grew up listening to, being truly weaned on music. “There are pictures of me taking Help! and A Hard Day’s Night out of their album collection and teething on the CDs,” Dana recalls. “I literally teethed on The Beatles.”
Over the course of her teen years she sang, played bass and wrote songs with her group Lemonface, who soared well beyond being the usual teen rock act. Releasing two albums and an EP, played such venues as the legendary 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., the Black Cat, The Rock ‘n Roll Hotel, The State Theater, The 8×10 Club and The Recher Theatre in Baltimore, as well as CBGB Gallery in New York City and The Malibu Inn and Cobalt Café in Los Angeles, and opened shows for Rooney, Flogging Molly, and The Hush Sound.
By the end of high school, she struck out as a solo musical artist and decided to attend Boston’s famed Berklee College of Music. “I know music is what I want to do with my life. There’s really never been anything else,” she explains.
Dana isn’t driven by a desire for fame or stardom but instead the satisfaction of creating music she can be proud of that also touches listeners. “I can do this,” concludes Dana with a calm confidence borne out of her already considerable accomplishments. “Even if I don’t become a rock star or whatever, I can be a working musician and make a living at this.” And on the evidence to be heard and savored on The Evergreen EP, it’s a lock cinch that her bright artistic future is fated indeed.