EMA on Letterman

At this point, we’re used to seeing indie bands catapult from relative obscurity to national TV exposure. But if you’ve every been lucky enough to see Erika Anderson stalking the stage of a tiny club, with her old band Gowns or on her own as EMA, then you know what an unlikely triumph it is to see her standing in a late-night show’s spotlight, hearing David Letterman splutter, “Holy crap, South Dakota?!” while introducing her. Anderson is a noise-scene veteran with a gut-ripping emotional intensity; she is not supposed to be there. And yet, there she was, fronting her future-punk backing band and seething her way through “Neuromancer,” one of many highlights on her great new album The Future’s Void. I’m delighted to report that the confrontational power of her live show translates way better on television than you’d ever expect. She looked like a star last night, and you can, and should, watch her performance below.

The Future’s Void is out now on Matador, and it rules.

Comments (8)
  1. Couldn’t agree more. What the F is that doing on network TV? With the fairly recent exposure of St. Vincent and now this is Dave getting his inner Art Freak ON, or what?

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    • I can sort of see why you’d say that, but if you’ve listened to The Future’s Void then you know how original EMA really is and the talent she has. This was a great performance, she sounded brilliant with the vocals spot on. So many good songs on that album though forreals one of my favorites of the year

    • Ahhhhh yessss…….my favorite. The one time poster with the hate filled comment. So tasty. So deeelish.

      I am a huge fan of both of these artist’s and they are not even in the same zip code. Go buy Fever To Tell and then Past Life Martyred Saints and tell me those two sound anything alike.

    • i get what you’re saying and i wonder what EMA would say to being compared to Karen O. my money is that she’d be pretty flattered. i always thought that the past martyred saints cover was an homage to yyy’s first ep cover. karen o has been one of my favorite 00′s lead singers and EMA might have been influenced by her but each musician is their own entity.

      • Good call. The difference between the two for me is EMA seems to maintain an icy cool at all times. Whereas Karen O alvvays feels like she’s about to go unhinged. Most records don’t get listened to much past the first 6 months in my collection as I tend to constantly buy new music. But the first few EP’s and Fever To Tell still get tons of play from me. Everything after that feels too produced and too mainstreamesque (a word I just now made up). It’s all solid but lacks that crazy ass vibe of the early stuff. Although that EP Is Is kicks ass.

        • “mainstreamesque”, heh!

          agreed. they had an era where i was into everything they did- yyy’s, machine, fever to tell, is is, all the b-sides from that era. i’ve definitely grown to love show your bones, still am lukewarm to it’s blitz! and maybe the only person that didn’t think mosquito was as horrible as pitchfork made it out to be.

          EMA seems very stoic when performing, Karen O always has that strange but great smile she cracks when she’s doing her thing.

    • Karen O wasn’t particularly original, she totally riffed off PJ Harvey.

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