Erika Michelle Anderson, (born April 2, 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, Drowned in Sound, and the NME. After releasing her debut album, EMA was named “New Band of the Day” by The Guardian and “Artist to Watch” by Rolling Stone. In 2011 she performed “Endless, Nameless” for Spin’s twentieth anniversary tribute to Nirvana’s album Nevermind. 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.
Anderson played guitar for the experimental rock project Amps for Christ until the early 2000s. In 2006, she shaped the noise-folk band Gowns with The Mae Shi member and then-boyfriend Ezra Buchla. The duo, along with the former drummer of The Mae Shi, Corey Fogel, relocated to San Francisco, California. After holding recording sessions in Anderson’s home in South Dakota, the group released its first record, Red State, in 2007. 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 (eventually replaced by Daniel Brummel for the group’s final tour and recording). Gowns continued to tour and record, releasing its third and final album, Broken Bones, in 2009. Erika collaborated with artist Zak Hutson in 2009
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. The single was inspired by the British skinhead film, This Is England.
These photos are from The Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, 6/3/2018 – where they opened up for Depeche Mode.