EMA's latest video, for the slowly simmering "Down And Out," isn't always easy to watch. In a series of what director Alicia J. Rose calls "vignettes of futility," performance artist Taj Bourgeois spends much of the video disfiguring himself, if only temporarily, with various objects: handfuls of peanut butter, clothes pins, a roll of tape. It's a sometimes unsettling, sometimes comical form of self-mutilation that speaks to the song's moody undercurrent of self-loathing.
"Everyone thinks you're worthless when you're down and out," sings EMA. "No one wants the surface when you're down."
EMA tells us via email she decided to write the song after a series of unfortunate events that left her feeling broke. "I remember exactly where I was when the first lines of this song popped into my head. I was washing dishes. I had just overheard a conversation about tech salaries. My car had just been totaled and I found out that I needed thousands of dollars of dental work. I didn't have the money to fix either. I felt like s*** about myself."
Exile In The Outer Ring is due out Aug. 25 on City Slang Records.