NEW ALBUM: Emika – Drei
Once you start counting your albums, it is probably difficult to stop – although Emika may run out of languages for her next release: Drei is German for three and consistent with her chosen home of Berlin, Germany. Consistent is also the music on it, in a good way. She keeps her more experimental projects to a separate line of records, like the purely acoustic Klavirni earlier this year and returns with Drei to her main line of -electronic- sound.
The cover of Drei depicts Emika, the ice queen, well fitting to the predominant sentiment of her songs: cold passion. We get a lot of that right in the first two songs, Battles and My Heart Bleeds Melody: her signature, deadpan vocal delivery, synthetic, popping beats and wailing synth pads. I like Battles in particular because of it’s 80s, almost Kraftwerk-y vibe. But she also takes some left turns: Miracles is split in two parts and the first one includes a male voice (a real one as far as I can tell), which Emika duets with. Then there is Without Expression, which strays away farthest from her musical comfort zone: for once it has a real guitar in it, but it also drifts close to some sort of twisted lounge jazz.
After Klavirni, Drei is the second album she released on her own label Emika Records (the first two records were on Ninja Tunes) and it feels somewhat liberated from consensus over its predecessor Dva. At 34 minutes it is a short, intense listen that wants to be repeated. I’m curious where Emika goes from here.
Drei is out now on Emika Records and will be hopefully be available on vinyl next weekend in New York. Find it on Bandcamp, iTunes or Spotify.
Here’s her self-recorded video for My Heart Bleeds Melody: