EMA Shares Song About Ghost Ship Fire, Says New Album Is “Too Political” For Matador

A few months ago, dozens of people died when the Oakland DIY venue Ghost Ship caught on fire during an event. Erika M. Anderson, the former Gowns leader who records as EMA, is a product of DIY scenes like that one. And while it’s been a while since we’ve heard from Anderson — The Future’s Void, her last album, came out about three years ago — she has come out with a new song dedicated to all the people who died in that fire. She’s releasing it as part of the anti-Trump program Our First 100 Days, and it’s a dark and heavy and mournful and beautiful piece of work. Listen to it below.

There is no word on a new EMA album, but feed me enough drinks and I will tell you that Past Life Martyred Saints is the best album of this decade.

UPDATE: EMA has commented on Twitter about both the new song and the status of her next album. She says the album is “mastered and ready to go,” and that Matador is not releasing the album because it is “too political.” She goes on to describe the label that will be releasing the LP instead, City Slang, as “a very diverse label and very supportive of the singular and controversial stuff that I think ends up being what EMA does best (they’re German! they aren’t afraid of politics or music outside of the box).” You can read her statements on both the Ghost Ship fire and her new album below:

UPDATE #2: Matador’s Gerard Cosloy has issued the following statement in response to EMA’s claims:

From time to time we have to make some unpleasant decisions regarding the label’s release schedule (which is more crowded some years than others) and roster size. I don’t know anyone — least of all someone as talent and visionary as Erika — who likes hearing, “we’re not putting out the great new album you’ve spent the last 2 years on.” But at no point did we discourage her from making a political record, nor was there any mandate to create something that leaned towards the mainstream.

Tags: EMA, Ghost Ship