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All Music Guide:
EMA is the solo performing moniker of guitarist/vocalist Erika M. Anderson, who shaped her experimental voice and guitar techniques in two well-regarded underground bands before setting off on her own. Anderson, who moved to Los Angeles from South Dakota when she was 18, played guitar with folk-noise outfit Amps for Christ in the late 90s and early 2000s, then formed the psych-folk band Gowns in 2004 with former Mae Shi member Ezra Buchla. After making three albums, Gowns disbanded in early 2010, and Anderson began working on solo material. Her single Grey Ship arrived about a year later and boasted a 17-minute version of Robert Johnson's Kind Hearted Woman that managed to reinvent the song drastically while remaining true to its spirit. Her debut album, Past Life Martyred Saints, appeared on Souterrain Transmissions in mid-2011.
Erika M. Anderson, better known by her stage name EMA, is an American singer and songwriter from South Dakota. Originally the lead singer of drone-folk band Gowns, she released her debut album Little Sketches on Tape in 2010 on Night People, an independent music label founded by former Raccoo-oo-oon member Shawn Reed. In 2011 EMA released her second album Past Life Martyred Saints, which received positive reviews from Pitchfork Media, Drowned in Sound, and the NME. After releasing her debut album, EMA was named "New Band of the Day" by The Guardian and "Artist to Watch" by Rolling Stone. In 2011 she performed "Endless, Nameless" for Spin's twentieth anniversary tribute to Nirvana's album Nevermind. Her song "The Grey Ship" was used on an episode of Adult Swim's Off the Air.
She has been heavily blogged about and was described by Yahoo! News as one of the most blogged artist of the week. This was calculated using an aggregator of 1000 music blogs.
Anderson played guitar for the experimental rock project Amps for Christ until the early 2000s. In 2006, she shaped the noise-folk band Gowns with The Mae Shi member and then-boyfriend Ezra Buchla. The duo, along with the former drummer of The Mae Shi, Corey Fogel, relocated to San Francisco, California. After holding recording sessions in Anderson's home in South Dakota, the group released its first record, Red State, in 2007. After the record's release, Jacob Felix Heule and Aaron Davis became additions to the band, with Heule replacing Fogel as drummer and Davis becoming the group's bassist. Gowns continued to tour and record, releasing its third and final album, Broken Bones, in 2009.