Erika M. Anderson

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Erika M. Anderson at Berghain Berlin (May 2011).jpg
EMA performing at the Berghain in Berlin on May 5, 2011
Background information
Birth nameErika Michelle Anderson
Born (1982-01-28) January 28, 1982 (age 37)[1]
South Dakota, United States
  • Singer-songwriter
  • guitarist
  • visual artist
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • electronics
  • bass
Years active2006–present
  • Night People
  • Souterrain Transmissions
  • Matador

Erika Michelle Anderson, (born January 28, 1982) better known by her stage name EMA, is an American singer and songwriter originally from South Dakota, now living for some years in Portland, Oregon. In her career beginnings the lead singer of drone-folk band Gowns, she released her debut album Little Sketches on Tape in 2010 on Night People, an independent music label founded by former Raccoo-oo-oon member Shawn Reed. In 2011 EMA released her second album Past Life Martyred Saints, which received positive reviews from Pitchfork Media,[2] Drowned in Sound,[3] and the NME.[4] After releasing her debut album, EMA was named "New Band of the Day" by The Guardian[5] and "Artist to Watch" by Rolling Stone.[6] In 2011 she performed "Endless, Nameless" for Spin's twentieth anniversary tribute to Nirvana's album Nevermind.[7] Her song "The Grey Ship" was used on an episode of Adult Swim's Off the Air, and in the 2014 Carter Smith film Jamie Marks Is Dead.

A new album, The Future's Void, was released in 2014.[8] She made her network television debut performing on Late Show with David Letterman on August 26, 2014.


Anderson played guitar for the experimental rock project Amps for Christ until the early 2000s.[9] In 2006, she shaped the noise-folk band Gowns with The Mae Shi member and then-boyfriend Ezra Buchla.[10] The duo, along with the former drummer of The Mae Shi, Corey Fogel, relocated to San Francisco, California.[10] After holding recording sessions in Anderson's home in South Dakota, the group released its first record, Red State, in 2007.[10] After the record's release, Jacob Felix Heule and Aaron Davis became additions to the band, with Heule replacing Fogel as drummer and Davis becoming the group's bassist[10] (eventually replaced by Daniel Brummel for the group's final tour and recording).[11] Gowns continued to tour and record, releasing its third and final album, Broken Bones, in 2009.[10] Erika collaborated with artist Zak Hutson in 2009 [12][12]

EMA will release her third studio album, Exile in the Outer Ring, on August 25, 2017 through City Slang. Although The Future's Void was released on Matador Records, she stated that her new album is too political, and not very mainstream. The first single for her new album is "Aryan Nation" and is dedicated to the people of “heartland America”, where she is from.[13] The single was inspired by the British skinhead film, This Is England.[14]




  • "The Grey Ship/Kind Heart" (Souterrain Transmissions, 2011)
  • "California" (Souterrain Transmissions, 2011)
  • "Soul on Fire" (Hell, Yes!, 2011)
  • "Milkman" (Souterrain Transmissions, 2011)
  • "Marked/Angelo" (Souterrain Transmissions, 2011)
  • "Take One Two" (Souterrain Transmissions, 2012)
  • "Satellites" (City Slang, 2013)
  • "So Blonde" (City Slang, 2014)
  • "3Jane" (City Slang, 2014)
  • "Active Shooter" (City Slang, 2015)
  • "Amnesia Haze" (City Slang, 2015)
  • "Aryan Nation" (City Slang, 2017)
  • "Breathalyzer" (City Slang, 2017)
  • "Down and Out" (City Slang, 2017)


  1. ^ "EMA on Twitter".
  2. ^ Neyland, Nick (May 10, 2011). "EMA: Past Life Martyred Saints". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  3. ^ Skinner, James (May 5, 2011). "EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  4. ^ "Album Review: EMA – 'Past Life Martyred Saints'". NME. IPC Media. May 4, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  5. ^ Lester, Paul (April 14, 2011). "New band of the day – No 1,005: EMA". The Guardian. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  6. ^ Keyes, J. Edward (May 17, 2011). "Artist to Watch: EMA's Spellbinding Noise-Folk Confessionals". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved May 17, 2011.
  7. ^ "FREE ALBUM: SPIN Tribute to Nirvana's 'Nevermind'". Spin. July 19, 2011. Retrieved July 28, 2011.
  8. ^ Richardson, Mark (10 April 2014). "EMA: The Future's Void | Album Reviews | Pitchfork". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  9. ^ Phares, Heather. "EMA". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 2, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c d e Mason, Stewart. "Gowns: Biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
  11. ^ "Gowns: Broken Bones CD Notes". Southern Records. September 1, 2009. Archived from the original on June 26, 2015. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Phares, Heather. "Past Life Martyred Saints: EMA". Allmusic. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  13. ^ Bowe, Miles (April 19, 2017). "EMA announces new album Exile In The Outer Ring, shares 'Aryan Nation'". FACT. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  14. ^ Malt, Andy. "EMA announces new album, releases This Is England inspired single". CMU. CMU. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  15. ^ Roberts, Christopher (November 20, 2015). "EMA Shares "Amnesia Haze," First Taste of Her Score for Chloe Sevigny Film "#Horror"". Under The Radar. Retrieved March 24, 2016.

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