– Debuts “Fire Water Air LSD” video
– To support Depeche Mode on European tour
– New album ‘Exile In The Outer Ring’ out now on City Slang
“Each track is dripping with societal reform, documenting identity, poverty, capitalism and feminism through surly and meditated lyrics that reflect the contemporary age” – Aesthetica
“EMA’s powers of empathetic evocations prove potent.” – **** Record Collector
“EMA takes a stand against appropriation in her superb third album.” – ***** FT
“Raw vocals & impassioned delivery draw attention to EMA’s deeply personal and starkly candid lyrics “- The Line of Best Fit
“It’s an album of heavy drones, self-loathing and Erika’s gloriously twisted wit and feels like a sonic monument to the current fucked-up status of America in 2017” – The Quietus
“‘Aryan Nation’ is a noise-laden chronicle of the jilted ‘white trash’ Midwest, stuck in a vicious cycle of crime, poverty and dejection. The title alone is bound to raise a few eyebrows” – Drowned In Sound
“A diverse palette of sparks & friction applied to a canvas of shifting unease” – 4/5 DORK
“EMA doesn’t preach, she simply draws serious attention to deep-set societal issues. When it’s done in such a striking and powerful way, it’s hard not to take notice” – DIY
“Themes around poverty and alienation have never felt so emotionally compelling” – Electronic Sound
“Clever, unflinchingly experimental and catchy.” – MOJO
“Anderson has all but perfected a very delicate balance. She presents subjects boldly and forcefully, but also with a great deal of sensitivity and thought-provoking tact” – 4/5 The Skinny, Album of the Month
Having recently been confirmed to support Depeche Mode on their early 2018 European arena tour, EMA has shared her new video for “Fire Water Air LSD”, taken from her recent album ‘Exile In The Outer Ring’. Directed by DaVideo Tape with art direction by Erika M. Anderson (EMA), the clip combines footage of an analog performance utilizing Tachyons and artist tools designed by Logan Owlbeemoth and Omebi Velouria in Florida, with footage of EMA shot at Open Signal Portland Community Media Center.
“I had seen DaVideo Tape around PDX and the media center by my house. He always wore an X-Files hat and made crazy VR. He liked the reptilian virgin mary t-shirt design I had made for EMA,” says EMA. “I had a week before leaving on tour and I really needed a video made — I discovered he is a rad analog video artist so I asked him to make an EMA vid. He brought in his own Reptilian mask. I think the footage is fucking hilarious. He opened up a very playful side of me and this is one of the only videos where you will see me dancing and just kind of goofing off. Our inspirations were reptilians and the county fair. I used a lot of lizards and snakes in my own VR project in 2015 — to me they represent layers of hidden meaning and hidden reality, or at least belief in hidden layers of reality. The county fair is just cuz when I wrote this song I wanted it to sound like Guns N Roses coming out of grandstand speakers at a demolition derby.”
In this song cycle, written entirely before the last presidential election, EMA situates herself in what she calls “The Outer Ring.” It’s a zone between the country and the city, both literally and figuratively — a surprisingly diverse world of people united only by poverty and tension, and by the anger that comes from having your story and your struggles erased from the narrative. The vignettes here are less about an actual place than scenes that could be unfolding anywhere in America, including the stories of recent immigrants, defiant feminists, nihilistic mall teens, police shootings, and ex-urbanites who’ve been pushed out of city centers by stagnating wages and rising expense, forced up against resentful rural communities swallowed by sprawl.
Mike Hadreas of Perfume Genius recently described EMA as a world-builder in an interview with The Quietus, and with ‘Exile In The Outer Ring’, she once again presciently details the complexity of our modern world. But the terrain here is interior as well as exterior. EMA’s greatest strengths have always been honesty and intimacy, and this record fuses the personal with the political landscape at large. Musically, it’s a throwback to (EMA’s previous band) Gowns’ ‘Red State’, a widely influential underground cult classic.
EMA is not new to material that speaks truth to power (“Active Shooter,” “Song For Ghostship”), and while these songs pull no punches in confronting ugly realities, they never wallow in despair. ‘Exile In The Outer Ring’ is a portrait of resilience that renders American poverty and resentment with frightening realism and deep empathy. A personal, confrontational, but ultimately redemptive album from a quintessentially American artist at the peak of her form.
EMA European live dates 2018:
17 Berlin, Germany – Mercedes-Benz Arena
19 Berlin, Germany – Mercedes-Benz Arena
21 Nuremberg, Germany – Arena Nürnburger
24 Bordeaux, France – Bordeaux Metropole Arena
27 Milan, Italy – Mediolanum Forum
29 Milan, Italy – Mediolanum Forum
31 Prague, Czech Republic – O2 Arena
02 Budapest, Hungary – BSA
04 Vienna, Austria – Stadthalle