It’s hard to have a track keep up with an opening line on the level of “Fuck California, you made me boring”, but EMA (Erika M. Anderson, formerly of Gowns) manages to do it on the second single from her debut solo album, Past Life Martyred Saints. As a rejection of California’s mystical appeal, the track woozes back and forth without building to any sort of climax; indeed, it’s a lost meandering through stereotypes and despair that comes with the Golden State. Perhaps a bit too heady for summer, “California” rewards those listeners who get past the noise and into the beauty of being fed up. It doesn’t hurt that EMA’s vocal delivery is so interesting, with its starts and stops and quickly-sung verses.
Written by Luis Paez-Pumar