EMA: The Future’s Void – album review
EMA – The Future’s Void (City Slang)
Out April 7th
Ema releases her much anticipated second album next week, a dark sounding record about surveillance and the internet. Louder Than War’s Adrian Bloxham is very impressed.
‘The Future’s Void’ starts with a sudden burst of static and ends with the burst of fireworks and a fading organ note. This is EMA’s cold water to the face shock awakening. It creeps into you and doesn’t let go. It is a step on from ‘Past Life, Martyred Saints’, close to three years have come and gone since that record and although I still count it as one of my favourite albums this moves everything forwards.
It’s not a warm sound; ‘The Future’s Void’ is paranoid and disassociated, looking at the world through a computer screen. The music changes track by track, industrial leanings on ‘Satellites’ and ‘Neuromancer’ switching to stark folk on ‘Dead Celebrity’. Nursery rhymes move under and over the static and bleached out electro. EMA’s singing echoing the changes, gentle, breathless and understated on ‘100 years’ but a static, distorted mess on ‘smoulder’. Her voice is wonderful. It moves from the extreme edges of the sound to gentle almost whispering; it just fits to the music.
The record overwhelms you. It is made to echo around your head, played over and over. Discord and peace are here equally and it’s very hard to say which I prefer. All ten tracks slot together perfectly, each one waiting for the next to be discovered as you make your way through the music. From ‘3Jane’ with its regretful story of a life ruined by social media to ‘Dead Celebrity’ and its assertion that you shouldn’t care more for the faces on your screen than you do yourself the stories here are of a generation lost on the internet, focused on computer screens as meaningless information travels around the world.
Not a sunshine filled album, more a static buzzing dark shadow of sound for the times when you need to disappear inside yourself and hide. EMA has provided us with a classic of our times.
All words by Adrian Bloxham. More work by Adrian on Louder Than War can be found here.