EMA’s New Album Captures the Sound of Looming Chaos

The third offering from singer Erika M. Anderson unspools ominous tales of alienation and anger.

EMA

Exile in the Outer Ring

City Slang

Chromatic PR

Exile in the Outer Ring is the sound of looming chaos. Recorded primarily in what she calls a “shitty apartment” in Portland, Ore., the gripping third album from Erika M. Anderson, aka EMA, drowns deceptively catchy pop melodies in shadowy, delirious vocals, damaged old-school electronics and menacing beats, unspooling ominous tales of alienation and anger. “He wanted me to blow the breathalyzer/Out on his truck cuz he was going somewhere,” she murmurs in one especially eerie interlude, elsewhere repeatedly chanting, “I wanna destroy,” to chilling effect. If Anderson’s dark vignettes—including the timely track “Aryan Nation”—seem attuned to contemporary stresses, lines like “Everyone thinks you’re worthless/When you’re down and out” connect her arresting work to the deepest traditions of the blues.

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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