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Following EMA Into the Future's Distorted, Ghost-Filled Void

Electro-pop songwriter Erika M. Anderson on writing songs about technology's unwritten future.

Michael Byrne

Michael Byrne

Image: Erika M. Anderson/Leif Shackelford/Matador Records

Our sister site the Creator's Project sat down with electro-pop songwriter EMA, aka Erika M. Anderson, for a short documentary surrounding her newish record, The Future's Void, asking what exactly it is or isn't that we future-travelers are about to fall into."I didn't set out to make a topical album about the internet and technology," she says in the video. "It felt really taboo and weird and I felt embarrassed about it ... It's kind of weird to use this Internet language in songs. But then I realized that if I was having an actual reaction to it, then others would too.” Indeed, while it's quite OK within music (or art generally) to adopt the internet's various aesthetics (and approach it from within), talking about the internet as a giant, heavy thing that we all have to cope with is less of a fashionable topic. Apparently, she even got some shit for writing lyrics that included words like “millennial” and “interwebs.”

The Future's Void is good almost in spite of itself—something about how it passes around rock poses and borderline cliches but always manages to skip out at the last second on the rusty blade of a dissonant synth or some other gnarled electro-scar. Like her earlier LP Past Life Martyred Saints, I kind of hated it at first, but came around in an unexpected way. Anyhow, her take on the record and the techno-future in general are worth listening to.