EMA - The Future's Void

Tracks such as Satellites and Cthulu are like staring at a range of mountains and seeing the thunder clouds form. Drums in the deep. It’s epic stuff, it really is.

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Wow. This is some record. Prickly, brittle, vulnerable and at times incredibly operatic; and almost Wagnerian in the way it sets up these mad tableaux that just couldn’t exist in real life. But somehow these tableaux suck you in and – whilst you gaze on them with your mind’s eye – they are utterly believable. Tracks such as Satellites and Cthulu are like staring at a range of mountains and seeing the thunder clouds form. Drums in the deep. It’s epic stuff, it really is.  

I’d also wager that this new one by EMA is the ultimate dreamer’s record. You can lie inert whilst letting this turbulent, high pressure and strangely open record perform its Grande Masque in front of you. Just listen to the way So Blonde viciously turns in on itself to make its point; often wounding itself in the process. Now that is something I’ve not heard on a record for years. Tracks like Neuromancer show the sort of grim defiance you’d get on something like Non Stop Erotic Cabaret, or Live Through This. Simply put, The Future's Void invites you to lie back to on your bed and spit your own angst and frustrations. In that way, it’s incredibly empathic and cathartic as a listen, despite all the hoops you jump.

And it’s a stadium pop record too; however much Erika Anderson dabbles with pure noise (gradations of which, incidentally, are smeared over the LP like the work of a jammy-handed toddler) and a whole host of samples and programmes and tricks – such as the start on Smoulder. No, despite the sonic wind tunnels and thorn bushes Anderson puts her vocals through this is expressive, maybe populist stuff; an honest, bare nekkid working out of a whole host of thoughts and attitudes.  At times it’s dazzlingly brilliant; the opening strum in When She Comes, the synth kick in Cthulu and Anderson’s lullaby on 100 Years are heart stopper moments, and the last two tracks, Solace and  Dead Celebrity are brilliant essays in a backwoods form of camp, neon-lit, sleazy Goth (with fangs).    

One thing, Anderson’s got a load of guts and honesty, and maybe that’s what will scare a lot off this record. But I for one applaud her for her attitudes and ambitions. Even, (no, especially) down to her refusal to play dolly on the cover.