EMA - 'The Future's Void' - Cover- 2014

EMA‘The Future’s Void’

01. Satellites
02. So Blonde
03. 3Jane
04. Cthulu
05. Smoulder
06. Neuromancer
07. When She Comes
08. 100 Years
09. Solace
10. Dead Celebrity

EMA‘s sophomore release may come as a disappointment to fans of this grunge-glam West-grade millennial, who – up until now – has done nothing but prove herself to be a worthy opponent, an Atreyu to the 21st Century’s Nothing, if you will. The Future’s Void is enjoyable, if not passable entertainment but no great work or art or leap by the artist by any means, and at points one might hope that she takes notes from her own playbook so that blasphemous quote: ‘Fuck California. You made me boring’ doesn’t become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You can see what she is trying to do with the album, what she wants to do – but it might’ve been better to chalk it up as it as a bunch of good faith creative experiments – a creative exorcism of leanings and tendencies  – and simply move on. With The Future’s Void, honesty has been pushed to the wayside, partially abandoned and EMA‘s formerly potent emotional content has been condensed and somewhat safely neutralized before being gruffly embedded into what one might consider her second 90s album, a sleeker, heavier and crunchier animal that has the listener to look towards H.P. Lovecraft, William Gibson and the internet rather than her own extremely personal breakdown of the social nonsense of all of us. The artist takes a step back here, and perhaps that is necessary.

EMA‘s first release, Past-Life Martyred Saints, was a relentless dissection scraping away at the myths of the American fantasy, which resulted in something rare, raw and beautiful. Rather than continue on in that exact vein, she mines in a parallel direction and wallpapers the tunnel with talking holograms and glitchy bionic prosthetics. The result lets us dork out and gives both her and us not only room to breathe but to even sing along without wincing too much at what she is saying.

With the DIY, hack-it-together and GIF-it-up aesthetics, she rocks out a lot more on this record – even if the sound itself echoes early industrial. If she is being experimental then one could hope for something a bit less hurried – she already has a loyal following  and if this is the sound of her growing pains as an artist then I think we can all live with that but it seems more like an interlude, a detour on her way to something great.

EMA‘s second album ‘The Future’s Void’ misses the next leap and stagnates on a vague level that might be a bit too less for such a talented and ambitious artist.

NBHAP Rating: 3/5