Ever since EMA crashed our lives six years ago with her 2011 stunner of a single “California,” we’ve always been smart to just shut up and listen when Erika M. Anderson has something to say. This summer, she’s back with her third LP, Exile In The Outer Ring, due August 25 via City Slang Records, and today unveils the third track from that record, “Down & Out,” which addresses how we assert worth and value to the people around us.
“People equate ‘worth’ with money,” EMA says in the press notes. “If you’re not making money, you can end up feeling pretty worthless. It’s a terrible feeling. We need to divorce human value from money and we need to stop treating people like they are disposable”
EMA’s first two records, 2010’s Past Life Martyred Saints and 2014’s The Future’s Void, have been full of sharp commentary on our batshit crazy times. And Exile In The Outer Ring, which refers to “the suburban world of people who’ve been pushed out of city centers by stagnating wages and rising expense, forced up against rural communities swallowed by sprawl” promises to keep her vital voice as loud as ever. Written in Portland, Oregon, the music that accompanies her message is just as crisp.
“I’m excited about this record,” she says, “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. 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.”
The new track comes with additional news of an EMA co-headlining tour with The Blow, which hits ONCE Ballroom in Somerville on November 12 and 3S Artspace in Portsmouth the next night. Check out all the dates, and listen to “Down & Out” below.
Featured EMA photo by Alicia Gordon.
EMA co-headlining tour with The Blow:
October 26 – Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s
October 27 – Vancouver, BC @ The Fox
October 28 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
October 30 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
October 31 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
November 01 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge
November 03 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda
November 04 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
November 06 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade – Purgatory
November 07 – Durham, NC @ The Pinhook
November 08 – Washington, DC @ DC9
November 10 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Night Bazaar
November 11 – Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA
November 12 – Somerville, MA @ Once Lounge & Ballroom
November 13 – Portsmouth, NH @ 3S Artspace
November 14 – Montreal, QC @ Le Belmont
November 15 – Toronto, ON @ The Garrison
November 17 – Detroit, MI @ UFO Factory
November 18 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
November 19 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club