LISTEN! Awesome EMA Track here
, January 21st, 2011 10:43
Quite predictably, since waffling idiots pronounced rock music dead last week and Quietus co-pilot Luke Turner served them up a righteous and steel-fisted slap upside the noggin, we have received rafts and rafts of brilliant rock music at the Quietus. This week alone has seen vinyl and CD platters from Parts & Labor, Anglo/Welsh hardcore band 33, French drone doom titans Monarch, Antipodean taut wire post punks My Disco and razor sharp, caustic blues rockers Toehammer arrive in the office.
But most exciting of all has been the arrival of new single 'Grey Ship' b/w 'Kind Heart' by solo artist Erika M. Anderson aka EMA. After first hearing it late one night in the Quietus Towers, co-pilot John Doran thought he had dreamt it up when he arose the next morning, while Turner fears the disc may have caused an office infestation of poltergeists, as plates have been smashing and windows slamming non-stop since we introduced it to the CD player.
EMA will already be familiar to some readers. She is a South Dakota native who moved to L.A. when she was 18 to join Amps For Christ before forming the much revered Gowns with Ezra Buchla. But this, her first solo single, is something else again. 'Grey Ship' deals with a subject very close to the heart of The Quietus: Viking long boats and their associations with passing from this life into the next. This metaphor takes physical shape in the form of a sumptuous bass drop and meditative drone that places her somewhere between Cat Power, Neil Young and My Bloody Valentine.
This is backed with the amazing 'Kind Heart' which we're very happy to be able to give away today. This is a cover of the Robert Johnson track which starts off as a Blues number before taking flight like Lift To Experience, commenting indirectly on the very progress of rock music over the ages as it ascends.
Talking about getting to grips with the song she said: "Recording this piece was probably the hardest thing I have even done. So many things went wrong that I began to think that there was actually a curse on this song. I was like, 'Is Robert Johnson fucking with me? Maybe I'm not worthy to do this song! Maybe this is somehow completely sacrilegious!'
"I then spent months trying to mix about 20 tracks of guitar feedback on headphones in my bedroom. The vision of this was beyond my capabilities and budget and it almost broke my heart. Also I'm such a perfectionist I didn't want to put it out into the world unless it fucking slayed."
And thank god she did, for slay it does. Watch this space for a feature on EMA.
'Grey Ship' b/w 'Kind Heart' is available on Souterrain Transmissions on March 7