Emily Wolfe

Friday, August 23 · view days & times
Venue: Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks


Emily Wolfe asserts her talent as a dynamic vocalist, sharp songwriter, and an accomplished guitarist and producer. She delivers a brand of rock ‘n’ roll that’s raw and relevant, anchored by emotionally charged lyrics and a powerhouse stage presence. This young and impassioned artist has amassed millions of streams and garnered widespread acclaim from The Wall Street Journal, MTV, Guitar Player, PASTE, American Songwriter as well as her hometown paper, the Austin-American Statesman and many others. Recognized as a force on the instrument, Emily has collaborated with Epiphone/Gibson Guitars on two signature Sheraton models.

After quietly emerging as a phenomenon, Emily projects her voice like never before on her third full-length album, which she produced. As if mainlining fire from her heart through her vocal chords, she delivered this ten-track opus called The Blowback, without apology.

“I called the record The Blowback, because a lot of the songs are about not taking bullshit anymore,” she explains,“I guess I could say it more elegantly, but it’s how I felt. From global issues, national problems, and interpersonal relationships, it’s a big middle finger to everything. The album is something I needed to do for myself. I’m really proud of it. This is the most connected I’ve ever felt to a body of work.”

Since 2013, Emily has engaged with a hard-hitting, yet hypnotic signature style steeped in rock grit and uplifted by alternative spirit. Following the Roulette EP [2014], she gained traction with anthems like “Atta Blues,” which generated over 2 million Spotify streams and counting. In 2019, she ignited her self-titled debut LP, Emily Wolfe, highlighted by fan favorites such as “Holy Roller.” Maintaining this momentum, she lived up to the title of 2021’s Outlier. Produced by Michael Shuman of Queens of the Stone Age and Mini Mansions, it incited unanimous critical applause from American Songwriter, Guitar World, and more.

Parade Magazine proclaimed, “Outlier perfectly spotlights Wolfe’s commanding vocal presence and newly expanded range,” while Atwood Magazine christened it “a dynamic and energetic frenzy finely balancing chaos with artistic control.” Along the way, she toured with everyone from The Gaslight Anthem to Neal Francis, Dan Andriano, and HEART.

Inspired by Hole, Veruca Salt, Nirvana, and Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, she envisioned a specific sound for what would become The Blowback. So, she opted to self-produce in order to properly conjure it, handpicking every element herself.

“Producing The Blowback is one of the most thrilling experiences I’ve ever had,” she states. I’d learned so much from past producers like Michael Shuman, and I was ready. For me, this whole chapter is about owning your spirit.”

Emily’s spirit shines on the track “Walk In My Shoes.” Stomping out of the gate, her high register swoons over a head-nodding groove punctuated by string bends. Between a disco-style strut, she beckons, “Walk in my shoes…I don’t want to play anymore.”

“It was born out of the protests my wife and I went to against all of these anti-trans and anti-LGBTQIA+ laws being passed in Texas,” she sighs. “I wanted to make a piece of art that combated all of these ideas about women not having control over their own bodies. The only way I could fight those beliefs was through music. It’s groovy, upbeat, and aggressive, since I wanted the fight against oppression to stick in your head.”

On “Dead End Luck,” a palm-muted riff brushes up against her casually candid storytelling as she recalls, “Drove past the bar and saw my ex, she looks so happy with a man instead, I wrecked my car got stuck behind a train, why can’t I handle anything?” A wailing guitar lead accents her emotionally charged refrain. Adding another dimension to the tune, she taped a microphone to a remote control car, catching feedback from different angles of the room and infusing “Dead End Luck” with fuzz in surround sound. The lyric lends itself toward the experience of having this tragic thing happen but Emily sings it with a kind of resigned humor about it all.

“The song was born from this really bad day I had when everything felt hopeless,” she recalls. “I didn’t have the energy to hope anymore. In the bridge, I give myself a little hope. It switches from dark sounding minor chord changes to major.”

Then, there’s “Second of Relief.” Lilting verses build towards another soaring chorus as she wonders, “Would it really matter if I wasn’t here, just for a second of relief?”

“It was actually the first song I wrote for the record,” she says. “It came out of the Pandemic. Touring had stopped, and the entertainment industry halted. There was no end in sight. Finally, I went on the road, and a few things changed my life in a negative way. Relationships deteriorated. Afterwards, I started writing the rest of the record.”

Elsewhere, “Silencer” and “Predator” send a message to any and all survivors. “The goal was to potentially make any victims of sexual assault or harassment feel less alone and like they’re not at fault,” she states.

The album concludes with “Can I Read Your Mind, Lover.” She leans into a glassy synth-spiked beat with a wish.

“It came out of a place of wanting to be able to read my partner’s mind and wanting to know what they want out of a relationship and life without them telling me, but it’s not possible,” she observes. “It’s a bittersweet, special little song.”

In the end, The Blowback might just give you the strength you need to express yourself as well.

“When you listen to this, I want you to feel empowered,” she says. “If something harms or oppresses you, stand up against it. I’ve overcome a lot. I’m not afraid to display my feminine rage anymore—especially on stage. I’ve grown up spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. I believe I have a lot to offer, and I’m ready for whatever is next.”

The Blowback released on all platforms on October 20, 2023.

Venue Information
Levitt Pavilion SteelStacks
645 E. First Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015
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