Is EMA's "So Blonde" the most 1994 song of 2014? Erika M. Anderson, a punk-rock daughter of South Dakota, yowls about lost youth in the big city ("Livin' underground like I don't know what to fear/Barely survived my 27th year"), with guitar chords that could give you third-degree grunge burns. Anderson's excellent second album builds on the stark confessional style of her low-fi 2011 debut, Past Life Martyred Saints, exploring piano ballads ("3Jane") and industrial rants ("Neuromancer") about social-media paranoia. ("Making a living off of taking selfies" is bad, TBH.) But the Hole-style "When She Comes" really sums up EMA's sinister charisma. Meet the new Miss World.
From The Archives Issue 1207: April 24, 2014