Highlights: 3Jane, Cthulu, Neuromancer, When She Comes, Dead Celebrity
Who needs St. Vincent when we’ve got EMA’s new album? The Future’s Void may lack a truly signature song like “California” (my affection for it hasn’t diminished in any way), but if anything – it is even more consistent than Past Life Martyred Saints, her previous album. Just as raw and creative, and a little less fucked up.
“I’m just 22, I don’t mind dying”. She is 25 now, but EMA’s songs give off the same odor of edgy desperation. The songs are fantastic. Murky, emotional, inventive, channeling the spirit of early PJ Harvey. However, her songwriting is arguably even better, with the sheer rocking force of “Neuromancer” comfortably sitting alongside a terrific acoustic ballad like “When She Comes”. EMA excels at both ends. “Satellites”, the first single, is catchy in a wonderfully raw, unpolished and unchartable way. “3Jane” is beautiful and heartbreaking, “Dead Celebrity” is a nursery rhyme with a lyrical twist. I could go on.
EMA has become more accessible, but she isn’t any less impressive. She has matured without compromising her identity. And the album will keep growing on you, just watch her bruised, croaky wailing in “Smoulder” dissolve into a melody that is both clever and inspirational. I will probably end up giving it a nine.