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This Weekend I’ll Mostly be Listening to… EMA, The Future’s Void August 8, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
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I first heard EMA (aka Erika M. Anderson) a couple of years back – the track Neuromancer as it happens. It wasn’t long before it was clear that the album from which it was drawn was going to be very well received, very well received indeed. Not entirely surprising, The Future’s Void is apparently about the internet. But if it is a concept album it’s one that doesn’t overwhelm the music or – as best as can be determined – the lyrics.

And perhaps more importantly The Future’s Void is just a great album – along with Ancient Wing’s eponymous album one of my two or three favourite albums of 2014. The opening track So Blonde is archetypal, referencing her drone rock roots, with that languorous but steely beat that arrives neatly at the near croaked chorus – a cry of dismissal and empathy. 3Jane has a simple refrain that sits across a massive but sparse sonic space of drum, bass and keyboards. Neuromancer is equally huge. When She Comes pared back, almost deceptively simple, a song that had to be written. 100 Years pared back even further. And so on, from Dead Celebrities simplicity, the reserved white noise and feedback on final track Satellites whose disjointed chorus will linger long after the track itself has ended.

I like the melodic undertow. EMA isn’t in the slightest bit reserved about playing with noise (again those drone rock roots haven’t been in any sense abandoned), but the songs are also anchored to strongly melodic elements which makes them both memorable and a pleasure to listen and relisten to. Add to that the sheer diversity – some tracks have an almost electronic edge, others reference the Velvet Underground, still others almost traditional pop. It’s this sense of a musician and writer playing with form and also doing it with great confidence.

One reviewer complained about production choices, but to me that’s a strength of this album. And its seeming diversity is what makes it so powerful a listen. EMA is willing to take an unexpected turn, to throw something that bit more difficult at the listener, and expects the listener to be able to keep up. Recommended.

So Blonde

Neuromancer

When She Comes

Satellites

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