EMA aka Erika M Anderson. Previous member of the band Gowns. Now a solo artist. Her first recording is The Grey Ship.
Growing up in what she describes as the “dive bars and rotten graveyards of South Dakota” her music is very typically American. The acoustic guitar that starts the song off accompanied by her vocals straight away reminds me of something you’d hear on the soundtrack for a Hollywood film. This isn’t a bad thing by the way.
Her voice is breathy and calming on her debut but the first lyrics, “When you see that ship it is the ship you can’t see” don’t exactly sell the song in terms of ground breaking lyrics. However, that doesn’t seem to matter and is easily brushed off.
Vocally, she’s very similar to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O. In fact, The Grey Ship is entirely similar to their once original sound. Suddenly, this song doesn’t feel so new anymore…
The first half of the track, although simple and basic with the same guitar chords on repeat, doesn’t become dull. But just when it could possibly turn into a boring repetitive song, she drops the bass (as everyone refers to with this song).
It becomes another track altogether. Now I’m not quite sure about this. All lyrics and music apart from the acoustic guitar fade out and then wham! The bass comes in alone. It’s done cleverly and brings in more electronics than before. It brings the tempo up and it goes from relaxing to becoming a great iconic indie club song.
But I can’t help but feel it’s too different in places from the first half, leading it to sound like it’s the second track on a single.
Either way, The Grey Ship is good. It’s mixed well and although some of the lyrics aren’t the best ever written, it’s a great song. Especially the last 15 seconds where her vocal abilities really shine through.