Tag Archives: EMA

EMA Reveals Bonus Track, Drown

To celebrate EMA’UK tour that kick started last week, she reveals bonus track Drown online from her recent album ‘The Future’s Void’, which is out now via City Slang.

Drown shows a completely new side to EMA’s ever-evolving sound. It’s a dark industrial work that compels you to the dance floor whilst Erika’s haunting vocals echo about the ‘concept of failure’ over the top.

Erika M. Anderson first graced the limelight under the guise of EMA in May 2011, when the brilliantly scuffed debut album Past Life Martyred Saints was released to a multitude of acclaim. After having spent time in the California underground fronting the genre-defying cult duo Gowns with Ezra Buchla, Past Life Martyred Saints offered a deeper glimpse into the world of EMA. An absorbing and ambitious masterpiece that revealed a unique and feed-backed noisy guitar style, a skill for visceral songwriting and a DIY recording ethos, it showcased a distinctive sonic signature that sounded like nothing else around. 

If Past Life Martyred Saints was an inward exploration of human relationships and their toll, The Future’s Void catapults them out into space, both thematically and musically. The album meditates on universal themes of how we interact with the wider world and how that interaction is increasingly modified by technology. Through collaboration with Leif Shackelford on production duties, the sound of this record reflects these themes and instead of using electronics to create a polished, airless environment, Anderson’s techno-future thrashes strongly between harsh tones and paranoia, to beautiful colour bursts and mellow guitar strums.

EMA continues to evoke a unique and ambitious sound that saw her rightfully recognised as one of the most singular artists to emerge in 2011 and puts her back into the public consciousness once again in 2014.

You can catch EMA live on the following dates:
03 June                 London, UK – The Garage*
04 June                  Manchester, UK – Ruby Lounge*
05 June                  Leeds, UK – Brudnell Social Club*
06 June                  Bristol, UK – The Lantern*

*with support from Colleen Green

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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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EMA – Take One Two

EMA released a brand new single and accompanying video on Tuesday with all the proceeds going to an anti-bullying charity.

EMA Take One Two

Snapshot from the Take One Two video

The footage from the video for Take One Two comes from a South Dakota trailer park in the mid-90s. It features Erika M Anderson and her group of misfit friends dressing up and hanging out.

EMA explains the video: “This footage comes from a South Dakota trailer park in the mid-90s, and features a small group of freaks and misfits who seem to be having the time of their lives. Dressing up, hanging out, making up funny skits, and lots of laughing. When I look back now at our fresh young faces (yes that is me with the short dark hair and cat-eye liner), I’m amazed at how simply happy we all look. This is especially remarkable as I know what was going on outside those plywood walls: getting called names, shoved into lockers, and threatening to get our asses kicked for being queer or punk or just plain weird.

“But despite all that, there is a joy, strength and self-acceptance in our faces that I find inspiring and wanted to pass on. I’m offering the proceeds of this song to an anti-bullying non-profit started by a 15-yr-old girl in Long Island who was a victim of bullying for 7 years before switching schools. It’s called The Jamie Isaacs Foundation (www.jamieisaacsfoundation.org) and it works to bring youth advocates into schools and pass anti-bullying legislation.

“This one’s for all the weirdoes out there: cherish your friends, fuck the haters and let your freak flag fly.”

You can buy the single now from iTunes and can help make a difference to other people’s lives.

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EMA – Marked

EMA has released a video for her upcoming single, Marked, which is to be released on November 21 as a limited edition 7″ vinyl.

Taking the distorted rock edge away from her music, Marked sees a more gentle, naive and innocent side to EMA as she sings about a complicated relationship.

The video, shot and produced in-house by live band member Leif Shackelford and Erika M Anderson herself, focuses on strange black and white images of EMA cutting off the layers of her supposed arms which are ‘a see through plastic’. It also stars Alexis Blair Penney….Interested?

Marked firmly sets in stone the idea that EMA and her music are completely absurd yet brilliant. Her raspy voice captures the innocence and confusion in the vocals “I wish that every time he touched me / Left a mark” while the chillingly simple and distant sounding guitar riff intensify the emotions.

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EMA – Milkman

New musical superstar, EMA, is set for big things this month as she’s just released her latest single, Milkman, and her debut album, Past Life Martyred Saints, both of which were released only last week.

Since her last single, The Grey Ship, EMA has sprung to fame and developed a pretty loyal fan base. Now, she’s released an even better tune that knocks socks off The Grey Ship.

Stills from EMA's Milkman video

Stills from EMA's Milkman video

Milkman is more upbeat than the last single with more energy and fire behind it. This song is a lot less depressing. With heavier drums and more bass (if that’s possible), it’s a cracking alternative rock song.

The electric guitar plays a back seat role this time whereas before it’s been the highlight. The vocals are better and way more intriguing than before as well. She really does have a female rockstar voice and this song is perfect at showcasing that.

Again though, the lyrics aren’t fantastic. Like The Grey Ship, it does lack musical genius in that department but even so, it doesn’t matter. This single is full-bodied and interesting whether or not the lyrics are great or lousy. On top of this, you can’t actually hear the lyrics due to the mixing. It may just be me but I don’t really know what she’s singing, all I know is that it sounds good vocally and musically.

EMA has and is continuing to make a strong name for herself. After recently performing in London’s Macbeth, I’m sure she’s attracted even more attention. I look forward to hearing the album EMA…

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