So, EMA. Let's start of by listing the number of things that coming up when you google EMA that have nothing to do with the musicians at hand: Emergency Medical Associates; European Medicines Agency; EMA - the artist we're looking for!; EMA (Shinto); Exponential Moving Average; Enterprise Management Associates; Entertainment Merchants Association. And then some. Let's go with the artist for today, k?
comeouttanowhere.com is the website actually. It's her music website, which I guess is smart, considering EMA.com/.org/.net is probably already taken. EMA stands for Erika M. Anderson, this 6-foot tall, punk-looking blond girl from South Dakota. She's playing at Coachella and Bonnaroo this year, which she seems pretty stoked about on her live-dates page - always nice to see. It looks like she's really blowing up, with dates all over the freaking WORLD in the next year. Nice. Oddly enough, she's going to be in Williamsburg tomorrow night. Damn, maybe if this is an awesome listening experience I'll check it out. In honor of this, as well, I tried to grab a lot of live clips to show off and get a feel of what the crowds are like. I mean, I probably would have done that anyway, but it's all good.
The album we'll take a look at is her debut on, Past Life Martyred Saints. I have to say, I love catching new artists as they get started - I'm a loyal fan if you catch me early on. So, let's see if I've got a new favorite to share with y'all tonight.
Follow along on Spotify if you'd like.
Ah, whispery, breathy vocals. We start things off with "The Grey Ship." It's not awful, but this is one of my most disliked forms of recording techniques. I just prefer newer things to sound cleaner and, above all else, vocals to not be messed with. The music is fitting for the style though, giving a sound along a foggy ocean morning or evening. I'm sure there are wonderful metaphors throughout this too, though it's the type you don't want to have to think too much about - you just want to get lost in the depression of the minor tones. Now, the later half of the song picks it up musically, making for a much more thrilling landscape of sounds and interesting listen as a whole. Her punk side comes out with some rock rhythms and harder use of drum beats. It's a really nice build, if you're still listening after the first half. Here's a look at the song performed live in a cafe:
Kind of a sad, crazy, cool sound to the next one, "Marked." Personally, I'm not sure I would have put this on an album. It sounds like something you'd write in your diary but never actually put to record. But hey, sometimes those are the best songs. Honestly though, and here's a test to who's reading... this album is making me want to smoke a cigarette really badly. It's just got that mood to it. Bah. Angst.
Final song here is "Red Star," which is completely relaxing at the start. The guitar that comes in later is even dull, but in a good way - a way that doesn't jar you from the rest of the song. It's just this pretty mix of voice and instruments that provides a great outcry at the end of the album. It builds in intensity, but almost from the heart rather than from the volume knob.
- "Red Star"
Overall, definitely a different kind of album. While I don't think I'll be going to her show tomorrow night or adding her to my Bonnaroo line-up, but it was okay to listen to, other than the odd urges to run down the street. If you need something on in the background while doing something pleasant, I'd say go for it and take a full-on listen. If you pay attention too much though, it's a tough time.