Review: EMA, Past Life Martyred Saints

By Georgi Bomb

Formerly known from folk/noise outfit Amps For Christ and one half of the cult duo Gowns, Erika M Anderson presents her solo project, EMA, with debut album Past Life Martyred Saints being released through Souterrain Transmissions. An eerie, haunting vocal accompanied by a tranquil and simple backing track which builds in intensity on opening track, The Grey Ship. A nod to the Viking funeral ships of EMA’s ancestors.

Following track California has a totally different sound yet still holds sincerity and poise. “Musically, the track is inspired by ‘My Life’ by The Game,” EMA explains. “Basically it’s a noised-out rap ballad by a Midwest white girl with lyrical references to Bo Diddley and Stephen Foster.”

There is not one specific genre on this album, the mixture of grunge and folk on Anteroom mixes it up and the whole product never settles in one area. One minute acapella track Coda falls quite nicely between the soft accompaniments of raspy vocals which dips to almost a whisper at times. This will then spin round to a noisy distortion, never lying still. The basic and raw production on the album gives no end of justice as over producing such an intricate and creative debut would lose the emotion and beauty within.

EMA will be playing the next two dates:

  • 13 May Manchester FutureEverything @ Islington Mill (supporting Scout Niblett)
  • 14 May Brighton The Great Escape @ NME Radar Stage (Horatios)
Download: Anteroom, Breakfast
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