Track Review — EMA “The Grey Ship”

Erika Anderson, whose vocal cords and tremulous guitar feedback stirred something fierce in me during her work with the now defunct greatest-band-of-all-time candidate Gowns, has a new project: EMA.

The first public release, “The Grey Ship” is a curious specimen. At the onset is icy 4-track tape static upon which the funeral vessel floats as the shoreline slowly recedes. As the shroud falls and the bass drops, we cross into Valhalla, in all its stereo digital splendor. Deep bass and rumbling drums draw clouds around closing eyes.

“I hear a choir, I hear a symphony”. Strings. Choir. Release.

Both analog and digital parts breathe frozen Nordic air, but in very different ways, almost forcing the listener to choose. Personally, I feel I see the breath clearer and feel shivers stronger in the first half, but respect the statement of presenting contrasting fidelities. Long form songs have always worked well for Erika and while the fragility of her voice has been proven to be untouchable in intimate home recordings, here she threatens to dominate the digital expanse as well.

The debut album Past Life Martyred Saints is scheduled for release on March 9th and has instantly made it’s way to the top of things I am more excited about than breathing.

I only pray that when I die, it is Erika’s voice I hear, carrying me up, down, or into the darkness. However it may be.


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  • AMF Mag

    Started in early 2011, AMF Magazine is a collective of post-college writers living in California. AMF was created to provide a forum for discussion of contemporary music and to give praise where praise is due.
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