EMA has just announced her new album Exile in the Outer Ring to be released August 25 via City Slang. She also released the first single “Aryan Nation.”The song takes a stand against divisiveness, while also reaching out to the “middle country” of America, where many U.S. citizens feel ignored and angry. The lyric video shows random imagery from a town and deserted homes, including the lyrics scrolling across the bottom like a newsreel, and other words on the screen indicative of the song’s message. Listen below:
About the song, EMA stated, “This is for my people in the middle country. I don’t look down on, or laugh at, serious issues such as poverty or drug problems. I believe your situations are real, your pain is real. I’m not here to ridicule or dismiss you. But as a person who came from heartland America, I also believe that there is another way than directing your anger at those who often have less power than you.”
The album, co-produced with Jacob Portrait of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, also touches on the same themes as “Aryan Nation,” reaching out to middle America with realism and empathy, but it also answers to feminism, capitalism, and other topics that feel very relevant to the current political state in America. Its overall message addresses the rage that can form after living amongst certain conditions, what it does to people, and what to do with the rage.
Exile In The Outer Ring track listing:
- 7 Years
- I Wanna Destroy
- Blood and Chalk
- Down and Out
- Fire Water Air LSD
- Aryan Nation
- 33 Nihilistic and Female
- Receive Love
- Always Bleeds
- Where The Darkness Began
Although the album touches on sensitive yet important topics, EMA seems to be the perfect artist to address the issues, having grown up in the Midwest herself and seen firsthand the conditions of poverty and resentment that can foster the type of rage she sings about. EMA, whose real name is Erika M. Anderson, lives in Portland now, where she hunkered down in a basement to write Exile in the outer Ring. It will be her third studio album, with the latest being The Future’s Void, released in 2014 via Matador Records. The Future’s Void received critical acclaim for EMA’s songwriting and the album’s commentary on the Internet and its role in our lives.
Last month, EMA explained that Exile would not be released through Matador due to its political nature.