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December 2018 / January 2019
Review

EMA - Exile In The Outer Ring

‘Exile In The Outer Ring’ is crafted in a world of turmoil.
EMA - Exile In The Outer Ring
Published: 8:39 pm, August 20, 2017
‘Exile In The Outer Ring’ is crafted in a world of turmoil.

Label: City Slang
Released: 25th August 2017
Rating: ★★★★

There’s meaning in EMA’s new record. Serious - important meaning. ‘Exile In The Outer Ring’ is crafted in a world of turmoil, moulded in a fire of poverty and resentment. The Outer Ring, see, represents the people pushed out of cities by low wages and rising costs - forced up against rural communities as the sprawl seeps out, ever growing.

This isn’t the suburbs of Arcade Fire, but a scene of tension and anger, everyone feeling they’re not getting their dues. All of which makes for an album that feels both personal and public, working in small confined spaces and overarching trends at the same moment. The meaning in cuts like ‘I Wanna Destroy’ may be obvious from the title alone, but the execution still fascinates and intrigues.

While it’d be easy to paint ‘Exile...’ as an album of complaint, in fact, it finds fascination in the modern world. A diverse palette of sparks and friction applied to a canvas of shifting unease; EMA is painting an ever shifting portrait. Stephen Ackroyd

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