Album: EMA, Past Life Martyred Saints (Souterrain Transmissions)

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The Independent Culture

Erika M Anderson announced her arrival as a solo artist with the striking seven-minute single "The Grey Ship", which opens this debut album in a multi-sectioned lo-fi epic that's like passing through a series of doors, from folksy strummage to buzzing synth mantra-chant to brief melodica pause and berserk thrash, before settling into a calm conclusion.

The rest of this debut album doesn't quite live up to that, but there's plenty of My Bloody Valentine-style drone guitars and distortion, allied to brash sturm und drang percussion, if that's your thing, bisected by the brief, braided burst of a cappella mountain harmonies that is "Coda". Lyrically, there's a pervasive fascination with California outsider culture that soon palls, though the troubled relationship excavated in "Marked" suggests a deeper vein of inspiration may yet be mined.

DOWNLOAD THIS The Grey Ship; Marked; Red Star