Review: EMA's 'Exile in the Outer Ring' - Rolling Stone
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Review: EMA Blurs Noise and Melody on Her Third Album

Our take on ‘Exile in the Outer Ring’

Review: EMA, 'Exile in the Outer Ring'Review: EMA, 'Exile in the Outer Ring'

EMA's third album is 'Exile in the Outer Ring.'

Loud, unrepentant and able to reshape the space around her as a temporary autonomous zone, Erika M. Anderson inhabits the songs on her third album like a denim-clad dirtbag blasting Rush in the 7-Eleven parking lot by dawn’s early light. Her music is constructed around cresting and collapsing waves of static, feedback and groaning synthesizers. The simple melodies promise resolutions that never arrive. In interviews, EMA has said the outer ring is suburban sprawl, endlessly expanding as the disenfranchised are pushed out of cities. But you don’t need to know that to get the point of the chattering guitars of “I Wanna Destroy,” the New Order bass bounce of “Always Bleeds,” or the ghostly confessions of “Breathalyzer.” All throughout Exile in the Outer Ring, whispers and screams, noise and tune, light and darkness trade places until the differences disappear. For some this will feel like resistance; for others, existence. In truth, it is a bit of both.

In This Article: EMA


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