Thus far this decade, the former Gowns frontwoman Erika M. Anderson, recording under the name EMA, has released two absolutely incredible solo albums; her 2011 solo debut Past Life Martyred Saints may well be my favorite LP of the decade. Around the time she released the new song “Stand With You (Song For Ghostship),” Anderson put out a statement that she was done recording the follow-up to 2014’s The Future’s Void and that the album was “too political” for Matador, her old label. And now she’s announced all the details; the album is called Exile In The Outer Ring, and it’s coming out this summer.
Anderson co-produced the album with Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Jacob Portrait, and a press release claims that it’ll address the nihilism and hopelessness that we’re seeing coming out of the Midwest, where Anderson is from. (She’s a South Dakota native.) Anderson has already addressed those themes, to some extent, on Past Life Martyred Saints and on the Gowns album Red State, and they’ve never been more urgent. That’s certainly the case with “Aryan Nation,” the album’s raw, fiery, anthemic first single. Below, watch the “Aryan Nation” lyric video, read what Anderson has to say about it, and check out the Exile In The Outer Ring tracklist.
I actually wrote this song about three years ago. It was partially inspired by people I’ve known in the past and also the British film This Is England, which most people in the UK are familiar with but hardly any Americans have seen. In the movie a group of non-racist UK skinheads in the ’80s are radicalized into violence through prison, poverty, and needless war. The results are violent and tragic. When I watched it I felt like I recognized a glimmer of their hopelessness and confusion in parts of America, but I had no clue how much that would explode in 2017.
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. Don’t let your discontent or your patriotism be exploited. Don’t look down, look up.
01 “7 Years”
03 “I Wanna Destroy”
04 “Blood And Chalk”
05 “Down And Out”
06 “Fire Water Air LSD”
07 “Aryan Nation”
08 “33 Nihilistic And Female”
09 “Receive Love”
10 “Always Bleeds”
11 “Where The Darkness Began”
Exile In The Outer Ring is out 8/25 on City Slang.