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“There is a vitality, a life force, energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.”
― Martha Graham
On New Year’s Eve 2013, Elise Wiener passed by her family’s out-of-tune baby grand piano and something compelled her to sit down at it. Until then, Elise had never been a musician. She spent decades pushing past emotional blocks, seeking catharsis through a myriad of arts. For her efforts, she garnered accolades and many awards across multiple visual mediums. Yet the one reward that remained elusive was a clear pathway from her heart to the world at large.
Seated at that piano on that fateful day everything changed. From nowhere, she began writing songs, breaking through her blockages with steely determination and the creative gifts of an idiot savant. Today, Elise is an accomplished singer-songwriter with a bevy of solo artist releases, and a catalog of songs available to other artists and ready for sync licensing opportunities.
“That initial moment at the piano was so out of the blue,” the Connecticut, New Haven-based artist recalls. “I felt like I was a bursting balloon, and I just had to express what was coming out. Since then, music has given me a lot of comfort and emotional release.”
Elise’s story is that of a self-taught creative with an intrepid entrepreneurial spirit who began her artistic journey in her 20s when she started making handmade paper greeting cards in her garage. She is a pioneer in this boutique realm, she earned a prime retail spot for her work at Bloomingdales, and she has won national awards for her designs. Her artistic continuum later flowed into pottery, book design, and other artistic visual mediums. To date, Elise has exhibited her conceptual art internationally and nationally.
These days Elise paints with sound, collage lyrics, and melodies. Her artistic path now is about songwriting, singing, and composing collaboratively. Elise’s elegantly emotive pop has garnered comparisons to classic and contemporary artists such as Diane Warren, Carole King, Ingrid Michaelson, and Beth Hart. To date, she has issued a self-titled full-length, a series of children’s songs, and a fresh batch of refined singles.
Signature to Elise’s work are sophisticated compositions brimming with accessible hooks, poetically poignant lyrics, metaphorical imagery, and jeweled melodies. Elise takes inspiration from her personal life—her “hero’s journey” in being bold and vulnerable in the face of darkness, pain, and defining moments in life. She is also moved to write by observational moments which she captures with vibrant empathy. “I like to turn a line of prose into a paintbrush—I paint with sound and words—and, from there, I capture the heart of the experience of any given story,” she reveals.
Recently, Elise issued the stunning singles “Spell” and “Looking into the Sun.” The aptly titled “Spell” mesmerizes with soulful vocals, heartfelt lyrics, and refined but rustic touches of acoustic guitar and piaano. The song details a genie-in-a-bottle narrative of a love relationship that unravels into grim toxicity. The pop-rock of “Looking Into The Sun” shows Elise branching out into top-line songwriting territory. Here, her lyrics conjure an emotional quality of alienation and loneliness that one feels being alone in a crowd. “Looking Into The Sun” is a song of existential longing.
Highlights in Elise’s back catalog include “Sophie’s Unicorn,” “Stella,” and “Forever Never Maybe Might.” The “Sophie” track was part of a Songs Of Love: The Medicine Of Music series where Elise was tasked to write a song to comfort a terminally ill child. Here, Elise’s thoughtful lyrics, classical-flavored musical motifs, and sweetly pristine vocals make for a gorgeously uplifting teddy bear of a song.
“Stella” and “Forever Never Maybe Might” emote with nostalgia and romantic overtones. “Stella” is a plaintive piano ballad written about Elise’s father who passed away two years ago. Elise explains: “When my dad turned 80, he stood up at the restaurant where we were having a family dinner and made a speech. He said ‘it all began when I met Stella,’ who is my mother. ‘Everything good flowed from her,’ he said.” The dreamy “Forever Never Maybe Might” imagines a scenario where two meant to-be lovers cross paths in a bevy of temporal cycles oblivious of the potency of their connection. The song has contemporary beats, tenderly emotive vocals, and anthemic ambient touches. Its 1950s-style love story is powerfully captured in a companion video that aptly reflects the feelings of love and longing inherent in the song.
Up next, Elise is enjoying a new era of fertile creativity while actively seeking fresh outlets for her songs and her songwriting. Reflecting on her path thus far, she pauses and says: “Right now, it feels like the sky is the limit. I feel optimistic and open to every opportunity that comes my way.”