City Winery and Point Entertainment Present Vienna Teng w/ Emma Hern 12/6/2019Friday, December 06 2019 5:30pm Doors / 7:30pm Start
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City Winery and Point Entertainment Present Vienna Teng w/ Emma Hern 12/6/2019
“So come out. You have been waiting long enough.”
This clarion call opens Aims, Vienna Teng’s fifth studio album. It’s as much a reminder for Vienna herself as an invitation to her listeners – a call to awaken the full potential within all of us.
Indeed, the new album finds Vienna in full adventurous mode. Recorded in Nashville with producer Cason Cooley (Katie Herzig, Matthew Perryman Jones), Aims is exuberant and buoyant in its enthusiasm, yet crafted with the same creative precision that has defined her previous work. The acoustic piano, once the centerpiece of her recordings, plays an occasional supportive role here; in its place are intricate layers of electronica, percussion, strings, and electric guitars. “Cason and I built a playlist of reference songs when we started working,” Vienna remembers. “We put Beck and Florence & the Machine and Kanye West on there. James Blake, Foster the People, Vampire Weekend. We started by stealing from the music we were obsessed with.”
The result is glorious, intelligent pop music with a signature all its own. Against a backdrop of stomping percussion and a gospel-inspired refrain, “In the 99” rejects the black-and-white, us-versus-them conflict view of the Occupy movement, instead exploring inequality through the eyes of a compassionate investment banker. In the gorgeous and disturbing “Hymn of Acxiom,” Vienna sings from the perspective of Big Data, densely layering and manipulating her vocals into an electronically-textured choir to spin an eerily relevant cautionary tale. There are tender moments as well, as in the folk-tinged album closer “Goodnight New York,” a love letter to a previous home, relationship, and perhaps vocation. “I’ll say goodnight but it’s never goodbye,” she promises. If Aims is any indication, there’s even finer music to come from this artist in the years ahead.
Emma Hern bridges the time gap with her retro rock and soul sound. Her music is steeped in the late 60’s and early 70’s rock and blues she was raised on in Richmond, Virginia, while her electricity on stage is a fresh force to be reckoned with.
After graduating from Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, she moved to Nashville looking to expand her musicality. Her first months were spent absorbing all that Music City had to offer, all the while bringing life to her new creative vision.
She wasted no time integrating herself into the local music scene. Within her first year, she has played a long list of prestigious Nashville venues and showcases, and capped it off with a slot at Pilgrimage Music Festival, which Rolling Stone named, “festival to watch.”