EMA

Announces new EP ‘Outtakes From Exile’ - Out February 2nd on City Slang

 

Following the release of her powerful statement album ‘Exile In The Outer Ring’, released earlier in 2017 via City Slang, EMA has announced details of a new EP release to coincide with her dates supporting Depeche Mode early next year.
 
Entitled ‘Outtakes From Exile’, the EP is just that, and will be released on February 2nd on City Slang. Today she shares a first track from the EP, “MopTops (Twist While The World Stops)".
 
"I made this song two years ago with my friend Severiano Martinez who also worked on Amnesia Haze and Fire Water Air LSD” comments Erika M. Anderson, aka EMA. “He does a lot of art stuff but is also edits video — my demo of this was much slower but he approached like an editor and chopped it all up and made it much faster. It was alchemy. The lyrics were improvised, I was thinking about the 50s and 60s living under the constant threat of nuclear war… People doing the twist in a red light nuclear fallout bomb blast, about the haircuts from then, “mop tops”. But now we have these two crazy world leaders with crazy hideous hair threatening to blow each other up!”
 

In this album 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.
 
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’ and the accompanying forthcoming 'Outtakes From Exile EP' are a portrait of resilience that render American poverty and resentment with frightening realism and deep empathy.

'Outtakes From Exile' EP track list:
1. Dark Shadows
2. MopTops (Twist While The World Stops) - YouTube
3. I Don't Treat Anything Good
4. From The Love That We Made
5. Breathalyzer Instrumental (EMA long cut)
 

EMA

Debuts “Fire Water Air LSD” video   & supports Depeche Mode on European tour

 

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."

EMA

Shares single “Blood & Chalk”

New album ‘Exile In The Outer Ring’    out August 25th on City Slang - UK tour in October

 

With her third album, ‘Exile in the Outer Ring’, set for release later this month (August 25th via City Slang), EMAhas shared a fourth and final track.
 
“Blood and Chalk was originally written for the #Horror soundtrack” explains Erika M. Anderson (aka EMA). “I wrote the lyrics very quickly, with the idea that it was about the experience of being a 12 year-old girl, kind of right on the cusp between childhood and starting to grow up. But when I played it for Jake (Portrait) he said he thought it was about a police shooting. I was kind of shocked, but it also makes complete sense from that point of view. Makes me wonder if my subconscious mind was working on a different level, creating a double meaning.”

“I’m excited about this record because it has everything I personally like listening to: fat synth drones, heavy guitar riffs, singsong backing harmonies and narratives about small town leftovers and complex loves; whispered secrets, kids from the void, static turned into melody and layers of crafted feedback,” she says, surmising the this third full length release as EMA, which finds her more confident in her stride than ever before. “This is my language, my sonic signature and psychic soundtrack. I’m ripping off the past 10 years of my own work and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.”

EMA Tour Dates & Tickets

EMA

SHARES NEW  VIDEO FOR TRACK "DOWN & OUT"

EMA has shared her new song “Down & Out,” the third from her forthcoming new album Exile In The Outer Ring, out August 25th on City Slang.
 
EMA (Erika M. Anderson) explains the track saying: “People equate ‘worth’ with money.  If you’re not making money, you can end up feeling pretty worthless. It’s a terrible feeling. I feel we need to divorce human value from money and we need to stop treating people like they are disposable.” The clip, directed by Alicia Rose, features Portland artist Taj Bourgeois alongside EMA. “I came across Taj’s work at a small house-gallery in PDX called Surplus Space. It was mostly sculptures including a crucified banana and some leather-bound S&M carrots. I loved it immediately. He is constantly creating work on pretty much zero budget, and it’s brilliant. I thought that combination of broke-ness, innovation, desperation and hilarity would be a perfect match for ‘Down And Out,’” says EMA (aka Erika M. Anderson). “Our relationship isn’t super defined in the video but overall he’s kind of like my alter-ego.  One theme that emerged was kind of male/female modes of destruction and frustration. Inward vs. outward desperation, vanity and lack thereof. Definitely our work in general shares the theme of transformation in a prosaic place. The little girl that comes in at the end is his daughter. They often make work together and how lucky for a kid to have a dad like that? To me the image of her cutting his hair at the end is kind of like the lamb taming the lion, a bit of tenderness in a cruel world.”
 
“I loved Erika’s idea of bringing Taj Bourgeois into the mix for this video. I thought his incredibly raw performance art could yield compelling ‘vignettes of futility’ that would juxtapose nicely with Erika's stripped down performance of the song. We had been talking for a while about recreating a set that was like her living room, which as her friend I’ve seen evolve alongside her art as a sort of physical nexus of for her writing process,” says director Alicia Rose.“Visually, I was excited to toy with the ideas of female composure and restraint vs. male fearlessness and defiant flagellation, especially at this moment in fucked up history. We made the video around the corner from Erika’s house at public access studio Open Signal and only had 10 hours to pull it all off which gave it a challenging time-based art element.”

 


 

EMA shares new track & video "Breathalyzer". Announces UK dates

EMA Tour Dates & Tickets

Album Exile In The Outer Ring out 25/08 on City Slang.

 

Following last month’s bold anti-nationalist opening statement, “Aryan Nation”, taken from her forthcoming album third album, 'Exile In The Outer Ring' (August 25th, City Slang), EMA has shared a second track and announced UK & European live dates.
 
The new track, “Breathalyzer”, is a Gowns-style seven-minute noise epic, extending modular synth solos over a simple, almost chant-like melody, until the tale of one woman’s “heroic dose” in the backseat of a car turns into an exercise in suspense.
 
“The story in “Breathalyzer” is very much an Outer Ring story” explains Erika M. Anderson. “It’s about kids getting fucked up in the back of a midlevel sedan and driving through suburban landscapes.  I especially wanted to present a non-moralizing view of a woman deciding to take drugs. In most media representations, if a woman decides to take a substance she usually loses control and something bad happens. She is punished for her choices. I wanted to acknowledge that possibility of danger, but in the end she is her own judge as she confronts herself in the mirror while tripping heavily.”
 
Director Alicia Gordon adds: “"By utilizing vague human interactions, sexual nuances and subversive body language the rest of the narrative is left to individual viewers' devices. It was important to me to maintain a fairly high level of in-camera purity with lighting and lenses rather than rely on excessive filters and post production. Thus illustrating one woman's chosen escape from reality and how it existentially functions beyond her experience." 
 

 

After the success of 2011’s Past Life Martyred Saints and 2014’s prophetic The Future’s Void, EMA retreated to a basement in Portland, Oregon – a generic apartment complex in a non-trendy neighborhood, with beige carpeting and cheap slat blinds. Now, she returns, with a portrait of The Outer Ring: A pitch-black world of dark night highways, American flags hung over basement windows, jails and revival meetings and casinos and rage. In a year dominated by white working-class alienation and anger, EMA – a Midwesterner who never lost her thousand-yard stare -- has delivered an album that renders Middle American poverty and resentment with frightening realism and deep empathy.
 
In the first glimpse at the new record, "Aryan Nation", feminist alienation becomes working-class alienation (“if you can’t see yourself in a “famous man,” is it because he’s a man, or because he’s famous?”) just as one person’s abuser becomes the systemic abuse of a nation. It’s an expansive vision that brings together concerns from every corner of our present moment — and themes that have recurred throughout EMA’s career, from the brutality of late capitalism to the collapsing boundaries between private and public — into one dark portrait of what it means to be American in 2017.
 
'Exile In The Outer Ring', co-produced with Jacob Portrait of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, is a return to EMA’s roots in the noise-folk outfit Gowns, whose 2007 album Red State prefigured many of Exile’s core themes, along with its mix of stripped-back folk (“Always Bleeds,” originally a Gowns song), spoken word (“Where the Darkness Began”) and noise epics (“Breathalyzer”).
 
The album is unique in its mingling of gender politics with American working-class anxiety. The voices we hear in these songs — druggy, surly societal outcasts; Byronic nihilists bringing down fire — speak to a kind of rebellion that’s typically reserved for men, and the archetype of the “dirtbag teenage boy” dominates the album. Yet EMA claims some of that same dirtbag alienation for women — “a woman who swallowed a scumbag teen boy whole,” as EMA puts it – and uses it to interrogate both her own vulnerability and how male violence shapes the world.
 
The result is a deeply personal, confrontational, but ultimately redemptive album from a quintessentially American artist at the peak of her form.
 
'Exile in the Outer Ring' will be released on August 25th 2017 via City Slang.

EMA

 Shares hard-hitting political new single 'Aryan Nation' & announces 3rd album, 'Exile in the Outer Ring' for August 25th on City Slang.

 

"This is for my people in the middle country. I don't look down on, or laugh at, serious issues such as poverty or drug problems. I believe your situations are real, your pain is real. I'm not here to ridicule or dismiss you. But as a person who came from heartland America, I also believe that there is another way than directing your anger at those who often have less power than you. Don't let your discontent or your patriotism be exploited. Don't look down, look up."— EMA

 


EMA – the project of South Dakota native and Portland, OR-based artist Erika M. Anderson – has announced her third album Exile In The Outer Ring for release on August 25, 2017 via City Slang.
An early preview debuted online today in the form of searing, anthemic first single “Aryan Nation,” which can now be heard via a lyric video – created/produced/directed by Aaron Anderson & Eric Timothy Carlson, who recently worked with Bon Iver.

ection.

After the success of 2011’s Past Life Martyred Saints and 2014’s prophetic The Future’s Void, EMA retreated to a basement in Portland, Oregon – a generic apartment complex in a non-trendy neighborhood, with beige carpeting and cheap slat blinds. Now, she returns, with a portrait of The Outer Ring: A pitch-black world of dark night highways, American flags hung over basement windows, jails and revival meetings and casinos and rage. In a year dominated by white working-class alienation and anger, EMA – a Midwesterner who never lost her thousand-yard stare -- has delivered an album that renders Middle American poverty and resentment with frightening realism and deep empathy.
 
In this first glimpse at the new record, "Aryan Nation", feminist alienation becomes working-class alienation (“if you can’t see yourself in a “famous man,” is it because he’s a man, or because he’s famous?”) just as one person’s abuser becomes the systemic abuse of a nation. It’s an expansive vision that brings together concerns from every corner of our present moment — and themes that have recurred throughout EMA’s career, from the brutality of late capitalism to the collapsing boundaries between private and public — into one dark portrait of what it means to be American in 2017.

"I actually wrote this song about 3 years ago. It was partially inspired by people I’ve known in the the past and also the British film This Is England, which most people in the UK are familiar with but hardly any Americans have seen"Erika explains of her new single. "In the movie a group of non-racist UK skinheads in the 80s are radicalized through prison, poverty, and needless war. The results are violent and tragic. When I watched it I felt like I recognized a glimmer of their hopelessness and confusion in parts of America, but I had no clue how much that would explode in 2017."

Exile In The Outer Ring, co-produced with Jacob Portrait of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, is a return to EMA’s roots in the noise-folk outfit Gowns, whose 2007 album Red State prefigured many of Exile’s core themes, along with its mix of stripped-back folk (“Always Bleeds,” originally a Gowns song), spoken word (“Where the Darkness Began”) and noise epics (“Breathalyzer”).
 
The album is unique in its mingling of gender politics with American working-class anxiety. The voices we hear in these songs — druggy, surly societal outcasts; Byronic nihilists bringing down fire — speak to a kind of rebellion that’s typically reserved for men, and the archetype of the “dirtbag teenage boy” dominates the album. Yet EMA claims some of that same dirtbag alienation for women — “a woman who swallowed a scumbag teen boy whole,” as EMA puts it – and uses it to interrogate both her own vulnerability and how male violence shapes the world.
 
The result is a deeply personal, confrontational, but ultimately redemptive album from a quintessentially American artist at the peak of her form.

Exile in the Outer Ring will be released on August 25th 2017 via City Slang.

 

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