EMA dropped a new single via her website today, "Take One Two," along with a corresponding video pieced together with footage the South Dakotan singer, née Erika m. Anderson, took as a teenager with her friends. In her post, she writes:
This footage comes from a South Dakota trailer park in the mid-90s, and features a small group of freaks and misfits who seem to be having the time of their lives. Dressing up, hanging out, making up funny skits, and lots of laughing.
When I look back now at our fresh young faces (yes that is me with the short dark hair and cat-eye liner), I’m amazed at how simply happy we all look.
This is especially remarkable as I know what was going on outside those plywood walls: getting called names, shoved into lockers, and threatening to get our asses kicked for being queer or punk or just plain weird. But despite all that, there is a joy, strength and self-acceptance in our faces that I find inspiring and wanted to pass on.
All EMA fans may not related to this imagery, but it'll strike a profound chord with anyone who dressed differently, thought differently, or was misunderstood growing up — okay, so pretty much everyone. "Take One Two" is a more intimate song than Anderson's previous work on 2011's Past Life Martyred Saints, but even when you take away the deeply affective footage, the song packs the same punch she's repeatedly brought to the table since hitting the scene last May.
Proceeds from the sale of the single, she says, will be donated in full to non-profit the Jamie Isaacs Foundation, which was founded by a bullied teen "to bring youth advocates into schools and pass anti-bullying legislation, as well as [encourage] empathic education of students and faculty."
As if her missive wasn't enough reason to watch/download it, EMA was one of our 30 Can't-Miss Acts at CMJ last fall and made our Best Albums of 2011 list. The deluxe version of Martyred Saints is due sometime this spring. As Anderson puts it, "This one's for all the weirdos out there: cherish your friends, fuck the haters, and let your freak flag fly."