EMA Enters the Void

  • Post Author
    by Web manager
  • Post Date
    Fri May 02 2014


“You were the goth in highschool / You cut and fucked your arms up,” Erika M. Anderson sings on her first album, Past Life Martyred Saints.  Anderson, who goes by the stage name EMA, carries that same confessional tone into The Future's Void, her newest release.  On first glance, The Future's Void seems worlds apart from Past Life Martyred Saints.  While PLMS is openly personal, The Future's Void embraces emptiness as it reacts to the problems and possibilities that come from living in a media-saturated environment.  But the transition from one to the other isn't hard to see.  On Coda, EMA sings, “I looked on the computer / and it just was an emptiness that made me want to throw up on the spot.”  This emptiness, or void, is the black hole that EMA delves into on her new record.

Anderson has written about the schism she felt growing between the person represented in photographs, interviews, and sound bytes, and the person she knew herself to be.  Anyone with a Facebook or Twitter knows the pressure to keep a social media presence can be overwhelming, and everyone has friends who choose to either turn up or tune out.  EMA's solution was to dye her hair black and turn off completely, emerging with a new album.  So Blonde, easily one of my favorite songs from the record, is simultaneously autobiographical and critical.  Anderson writes:

SO BLONDE.  The smiling blonde white woman is the most exploited image in the world.  Can we talk about that?  How about discussing if the selfie is a new form of feminist art or just a direct descendant of capitalist advertising?  No?  Hmm…  Yeah I couldn't figure out how to put that into a video either.  So how's about I just roll around Venice Beach wearing a Jim Morrison Tshirt while gifs by Molly Soda bounce in and out?  Ok!  That works!  The semiotics of palm trees!  Everyone gets the short-hand of SoCal.  It'll look great, be fun, and still gets to ask the important questions:  How many bits do we have to reduce the dancing blonde babe to before she is no longer a symbol of sexiness?  At what point do tits become simply bits?  And who owns the sparkly dolphin anyway???

Future features Anderson going back to her roots in the noise scene, employing heavy distortion to achieve a feeling of dystopia that reverberates throughout the album.  3Jane, another standout, is the kind of song that feels like a moment of clarity in a world of confusion.  The rhythmic piano and pounding drums create space for lyrical confessions like, “I get stressed out / and I wanna get high / It's cuz I've seen my face / And I don't recognize / The person that I feel inside.”  It's this raw, unbridled honesty that I'm looking forward to hearing this Saturday at the High Noon.

EMA is playing with Downtown Boys and Chants this Saturday at the High Noon.

9:30 PM, $12

-Catie Rutledge