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EMA – The Future’s Void Album Review

Erika M. Anderson first graced the limelight under the guise of EMA in 2011 when her brilliantly scuffed debut album was released to a multitude of acclaim. Now she returns with The Future’s Void which is set for release tomorrow, April 7, via City Slang, seeking to deal with the fact that certain ideas that once seemed futuristic are now the norm. It straddles the ugly and animalistic, the pretty and civilized and the past and present, resulting in a quality piece of timeless work. And like any great punk record, it questions social convention and rebels against the status quo.

The Future’s Void starts with the previously released Satellites. Satellites introduces you to some of the new album’s metaphysical themes, of struggling to understand where we fit in the digital age and where we are all headed. Satellites explores the places where everyone has equal access but is also under constant surveillance: “We fought the wars with information. Outer space seems very cold.”

EMA

EMA

Track two So Blonde is very Veruca Salt inspired in terms of the vocals. It has a great rock drum beat giving it that attitude to pull of those strong, female vocals. The chorus, “Let me tell you about this girl I know/She’s so blonde…” will get stuck on repeat in your head leaving you wanting more.

EMA recently revealed 3Jane as her new single. She said about the track: “Did you know Facebook just bought the company that makes the Oculus Rift? The VR headset I am wearing on the cover of The Future’s Void? People ask me about themes of paranoia on the record but obviously I am not the only one with dystopian dreams of our plugged-in future.

“No one was really ever that mean to me on the internet. I never had that ‘thing’ that happens when you wake up one morning and somehow your life is ruined because a mortifying picture goes viral or a funny tweet becomes horribly misread. Sure, there were bitchy things in the comments of videos but organised trolls never unleashed a wave of death threats on me, and only a few people suggested that I kill myself.

“So the internet never actually did that to me. But it did that to somebody. And now we all have this stupid crippling fear that someday it will happen to us. And the likelihood increases as you move from relative obscurity to becoming more broadly visible on the internet. There are more cameras on you, more chances to be quoted saying something stupid and more people out there who relish seeing successful people disgraced and dethroned.”

EMA has called 3Jane the lyrical centre piece of The Future’s Void and she is 100% right. It’s a sombre, ballad track which shows EMA’s softer vocals and range. The song is about the overuse of the internet in people expressing their emotions and unleashing the details of their personal life, “There should be a law where they can’t take videos of you/Of you/Of you/Of you/Of you/Feel like I blew my soul out across the interweb and screamed/It was a million pieces of silver and I watched them gleam/It left a hole so big inside of me/And I get terrified that I will never get back to me/To me/To me/To me/I guess it’s just a modern disease”. 3Jane is a thought provoking song which discusses how social media is taking over. It speaks about it being a “big advertising campaign” which relates to the idea that social media is becoming a powerful tool for the music industry to promote not only music but celebrity personas which ultimately help to sell the music – the idea of celebrity culture. It expresses the idea that EMA and other musicians may feel vulnerable that their life is displayed on the internet for all to see as a way for PR companies to sell their products.

Cthulu is a favourite track from the album. EMA’s vocals are screechy on the chorus keeping true to her punk style. Her vocals on Cthulu are strong and sexy, they will send shivers down your spine. It’s the really powerful and enthused vocals that carry this song.

Neuromancer begins with a tribal drum beat which builds the drama and excitement. It’s totally captivating from the word go. It’s such an unusual introduction to a track which is what makes it so utterly brilliant. Everything about this song draws you in. The chorus, “I’m not lucifier/But I will survive” demonstrates the strong female character EMA has.

When She Comes is a much gentler and soft acoustic track. EMA’s vocals shine through once again on this track, they’re given a chance to breathe. As this song is so completely different from tracks like Satellites and Neuromancer, it shows EMA’s diversity as an artist. When She Comes doesn’t sound like it belongs on the same record as any of the other track. It’s a breath of fresh air perfectly placed towards the end of the album.

The Future’s Void shows that EMA has come a long way since her previous album release, Past Life Martyred Saints. The Future’s Void shows a level of maturity in both subject and musical abilities. It comprises of a much more sophisticated sound. The vocals are stronger, solid and oozing with more confidence. EMA has produced a varied and captivating album that’s hard to place within a genre. It’s an album with a politically orientated stance on a very current issue and an issue which is proving to bother more people than first thought. There’s intelligence in the lyrics and sophistication in the music making it simply superb.

EMA’s The Future’s Void will be released tomorrow, April 7, via City Slang.

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EMA Confirms Release Of New Album, The Future’s Void

Indie darling EMA has announced she will releasing the eagerly anticipated follow up to 2011’s successful, Past Life Martyred Saints. Titled The Future’s Void the record will be released on the 7 April on City Slang Records. Two years in the making, The Future’s Void looks set to be just as enjoyable yet musically diverse and challenging as its predecessor. While Past Life was an introverted angst ridden album that dealt with tough relationships and the deeper searchings of the human soul, EMA has stated that The Future’s Void is about the bigger picture, the world at large, the state of our planet and the overwhelming presence of technology in our society. In particular how people use technology as something g to hide behind and how certain ideas that we dreamed about ten years ago are now an every day reality.

A veteran of the San Francisco and South Dakota noise pop and punk rock scenes, EMA’s records retain the waves of feedback and distortion, the avant garde song writing structures and the confrontational in your face style of that world. However her music is a more concise and accessible combination of all those elements with a great deal of warmth and an ear for more popular music in her lyrics and melodies. Last time round much was made of Anderson’s punk and noise roots and the lyrics on the new record address how it feels to be a media starlet, attacked online and over analysed and how this can take you away from the scene you came from and the people that made you who you are. All the while her sly sense of humour and vibrant personality on display over the album’s ten tracks, which like her last album were recorded at home as opposed to the studio, allowing for better improvisation and spontaneous song writing.

Already available from the album are videos for two tracks Satellites and So Blonde. Satellites is a classic EMA futuristic techno number while So Blonde harks back to the days of grunge and Courtney Love.

By Josh Bennett

 

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EMA Releases New Single, Satellites

EMA has unveiled a new track Satellites after recently signing to Berlin-label City Slang (Europe) and Matador (Rest of World). It’s the first new music from the Portland-based artist since the brilliantly scuffed debut album Past Life Martyred Saint’s was released to a multitude of acclaim in May 2011. The new album The Future’s Void is set for release in Spring 2014.

EMA

EMA Satellites promo shot

Satellites introduces us to some of the new album’s metaphysical themes, of struggling to understand where we fit in the digital age and where we are all headed. Satellites explores the places where everyone has equal access but is also under constant surveillance: “We fought the wars with information. Outer space seems very cold.”

Taken from her anticipated second album The Future’s Void, due for release in Spring 2014, via new label City Slang (for Europe, and Matador for the rest of the world), Satellites hints at a further emboldened Erika M. Anderson, without forgoing the industrial-noise sound and glorious fuzz of her solo debut and previous work with Gowns. Crucially, she still maintains the visceral songwriting and a DIY recording ethos unique to herself (aided once again by Leif Shackelford on production duties). Opening with a wall of hiss, scree and galloping piano motif, Satellites bursts into a flame of feedback and bass to provide one her best tracks to date.

With Satellites, EMA continues to evoke a distinctive sonic signature that saw her rightfully recognised as one of the most singular artists to emerge in 2011 and is likely to see her bound into the public consciousness once again in 2014.

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