The Future's Void
City Slang. Released April 4th.
I can still remember the initial wow factor when I first came across Erika M Andersen's EMA at the start of 2011 through her outstanding single "The Grey Ship", her debut full-length (ignoring her earlier project Gowns) Past Life Martyred Saints followed suit and similarly impressed featuring at number four in my albums of the same year. A raw, brittle beauty that laid absolutely everything on the line, the result was as powerful an experience as music can render.
Now EMA returns with The Future's Void, her second album released via City Slang, a more experimental and intense record with a particularly bleak look into a (our?) dystopic world. "Satellites" sums it up, dense and seething with Erika's guitar laid to one side and instead industrial beats dominate amongst throbbing bass and a squealing radio-static fuzz, "Satellites" is the perfect title too, a track that sounds like it could literally signal the end of the world.
"So Blonde" sees Erika reclaim her guitar with typical gender-bending style, here slacker riffs and heavy drums beats provide the scuzzed out melody for Erika to hit out at sexism and objectification, "3Jane" is a softer ballad about the increased virtualisation of the world that sounds beautiful even around lyrics such as "feel like i blew my soul out... it left a hole so big inside of me"
I think my favourite track could be the monstrous "Cthulu" (probably the highlight of EMA's set at The Garage earlier this year), an anxiety fuelled outpouring of emotion with ferocious guitar riffs and ominous noise. "When She Comes" is another highlight, one of the albums warmer, more straight forward moments with simple nonchalant jangle guitar riffs, it's probably the closest moment to EMA of Past Life....
The Future's Void might sound like it was released in the 90's with criticisms of celebrity and technology yet it remains relevant today and whilst I can't see me disconnecting with the modern world just as EMA asks us to do so, I'm certainly willing to agree that it's not good to be watched in almost everything we do, even in the confines of your own home.