EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints

Ema

Dear Brothers,

We’ve done a full 4 month cycle. Congratulations. No one has fallen out, no blood has been shed. We have agreed. We have disagreed. This is good. Now, cycle 2;

I have chosen ‘Past Life Martyred Saints’ by EMA (Erika M. Anderson) a lady not a band. That’s her there on the cover with the magic finger. She used to be in a band called Gowns who apparently performed ‘Noise-Folk’ a genre I am neither familiar with nor interested in being familiar with. The album was well received by critics but made no commercial impact as far as I can tell. It ended up in loads of 2011 ‘Best of Lists’. I think it is a very ‘Pitchfork’ type of album so it was no surprise that it made their top 50 albums of 2011 but also made SPIN, Popmatters and BBC Music lists placing as high as 4th. But hey, critics liked Alabama Shakes too and that proved not to meet this blogs standard.

So why have i picked this? A number of reasons. I like it. I’ve always had a soft spot for emotionally unstable talented young women. I like albums that pour out raw & real emotion with little disguise or metaphor (this maybe the reason that you don’t like it, who knows). This emotion is well-done-emotion ‘I wish that every time you touched me left a mark’ a repeated refrain that feels as if addressed to you.

I also chose it as I thought it would be totally new to you. I know there is a temptation to read reviews before you listen but its as new as I could muster as it seems none of you have heard too much about it.

Another reason is that I find it quite difficult to place genre wise. The closest comparison for me is that she is like a contemporary Patti Smith. Maybe listen to this then ‘Horses’ for an intersting double bill.

Anyway, it’s on its way. Enjoy Brothers.

 

10 comments

  1. David Allison

    Thanks for the CD, Joey. Given it a few listens, and I really don’t know what to make of it. It’s either suddenly going to take off for me or I’m not going to connect to it. I can’t work it out yet! Think I might hold off on a proper review until she’s under my skin…

  2. misterstory

    No worries Brother David. I deliberately chose this for the debate, I thought you might be it’s harshest critic.You must love ‘Fuck California, You made Me Boring’ for a opening line to a track though?

  3. Nolan Kane

    So I have been getting my teeth into this for a while now. The more I listen to it I like it. I must admit that the horrid weather that we have been enduring has created a nice space for me to get my head around this album. Let’s start off with the lyrics. EMA has some massive one liners. ‘What’s it like to be small time again?’ off of California is one one the many many lines that jumped out for me on this. The album reminds me of many bands; Jane’s addiction to even whole at times. With that there is no doubt that this album has it’s own stamp; a formula that we all seem to have agreed on previous albums is a winner. I agree with Joey on all his points, she is a messed up young lady in some ways that has produced and album that that is hard to put in a genre. I really like it for these two facts. There is a whole summer of rain against us for the summer of 2012 it seems and these may become of a bit of a sound track for me. Good pick brother Joseph!

  4. Nolan Kane

    So I have been getting my teeth into this for a while now. The more I listen to it I like it. I must admit that the horrid weather that we have been enduring has created a nice space for me to get my head around this album. Let’s start off with the lyrics. EMA has some massive one liners. ‘What’s it like to be small time again?’ off of California is one one the many many lines that jumped out for me on this. The album reminds me of many bands; Jane’s addiction to even whole at times. With that there is no doubt that this album has it’s own stamp; a formula that we all seem to have agreed on previous albums is a winner. I agree with Joey on all his points, she is a messed up young lady in some ways that has produced and album that that is hard to put in a genre. I really like it for these two facts. There is a whole summer of rain against us for the summer of 2012 it seems and these may become of a bit of a sound track for me. Good pick brother Joseph!

  5. misterstory

    If its worth posting its worth posting twice eh? :)I am glad you like it Brother Nolan. I am totally with you on the Janes Addiction thing. Thats so odd as I loved Janes Addiction when I was growing up (fuck the post re-united Jane’s Addiction!) and I am gutted I didnt make that connection but its spot on. ‘Ritual de lo Habitual’ era Janes Addiction for my money :)Lyrically I am also with you. Song writing wise this is simple stuff. She uses emphatic lines and does repeat them like a chant in a few cases (something I thought/think Brother David would pick up on). I hate to be the guy who corrects a lyric that you love … I am the king of miss-hearing lyrics and am always gutted as I think the ones i think I hear are often better! In this case I think the actual is such a great line that I do need to bring it to your attention. ‘What’s it like to be small time again?’ is actually ‘What’s it like to small town and gay’. Whooa. I like that.There is a certain North Americaness about this album. I choose my words carefully as I think this sounds like it could be a Canadian’s doing. I though you’d like it Nolan and am glad you do.

  6. Guy Hornsby

    I’m away on business until Friday 13th July so I may take some time to respond. Thanks for your patience.

  7. Guy Hornsby

    Haha. I guess that’s an auto reply to the mails I get when there’s a new post on the site. I’m dead professional me. I never had it on before on my music/journo account but I got fed up of PRs asking me to listen to something when I wasn’t in the UK. As you were.

  8. David Allison

    Still struggling with this a little, to be honest. It’s funny you make the Patti Smith comparison, cos she’s an artist that I *admire* a great deal, but I don’t find myself wanting to listen to her very often. Well, ever, actually.I do quite like the challenge of getting into trickier stuff, so I will stick at it. But I find that just when I think she’s pulling me in, it goes a bit noodley or introspective. Actually, that’s what it is: I want to know what she’s trying to say to me and I can’t kind of work it out. I ain’t given up yet though. She’s clearly a talent and has got something going on.

  9. Guy Hornsby

    I’ve listened to this quite a few times now, but I’m still not ‘in it’. I can see the attraction: the roughness, the waywardness of the singer, lyrics and character of the record, the unique US feel to it. But it just doesn’t seem to connect with me. I want it to, as I’m sure it’s an album you can immserse yourself in but it’s just not happening for me. It’s not bad, it’s not amazing (to me) though, so guess it’s just ‘decent’.

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