Album Review: EMA – ‘Past Life Martyred Saints’

Intense, fierce and a welcome departure from past ventures

As frontperson of Gowns, [a]EMA[/a] (then Erika M Anderson) proffered no-wave folk that was unforgettably frank. Now she’s back on her own.

Fuck California”, she spits on first single ‘California’, “you made me boring/I bled all my blood out, but these red pants they don’t show that”, suggesting her departure from Gowns wasn’t all bunting and ‘Sorry You’re Going!’ cards.

And whether it’s over a messy suicide (‘Butterfly Knife’) or giving the final death-kick to a flagging relationship (‘Red Star’), her perceptive glare is intense and unrelenting. A new, added tunefulness makes this a much-welcome Exile In Nihilist-ville.

Priya Elan


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