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EMA – Anteroom Lyrics 7 years ago
A pretty cryptic song, hard to interpret on its own, but in the context of the rest of the album it seems like it could be about drugs and death and other things that are usually bad.

EMA – Milkman Lyrics 7 years ago
SEX DRUGS AND ROCK N ROLL. To be honest I have no idea what this song is about but I think it involves hefty amount of those three things.

EMA – Breakfast Lyrics 7 years ago
A beautiful fuzzed-out lullaby that provides a beautiful respite from an otherwise extremely dark and emotionally charged album. Hard to say exactly what this song refers to but it conjures up images of rest, childhood, and tranquility. This is a song to sigh with and snuggle up to.

EMA – California Lyrics 7 years ago
Hoo boy, where to even start with this one. Too brilliant to interpret, I feel like I'd be doing it a disservice to do anything other than let it wash over me. Anyone who thinks poetry is a dead art form needs to hear this.

EMA – Butterfly Knife Lyrics 7 years ago
Campy and over the top, though still quite visceral. To me this song is about being an angsty teenager, with all the melodrama that goes along with it.

EMA – Grey Ship Lyrics 7 years ago
Seems to be a song about dying (such a cheerful way to open an album, though I suppose she might as well get right to the point). There is the image of this ghostly ship, filled with the spirits of her family and ancestors, coming to take her to the 'pearly gates'. The last line of the song seems to show that EMA's death in this song is not literal, she just feels dead inside, as if her soul has already been carried away. Mythical and metaphorical, the song paves the way for the more specific hurt and angst in the rest of the album.

EMA – Marked Lyrics 7 years ago
I may be totally off the 'mark' (sorry for pun) here, but this song seems to be about herion (or other needle drug) addiction. The first two stanzas of the lyrics focus purely on her arms, and her emotional disconnection from them. If we are sticking to the herion interpretation, this could also refer to the fact that herion junkies 'use up' their arms with injections, leaving track marks that forces them to inject the stuff into the back of their knees, or into their eyes, or other unpleasant places. The "I want to get it out" refers to her wanting to be clean of her addiction, to remove the chemical dependency from her system.

The song may also be about an abusive relationship (thematically very similar to drug addiction, a vicious love/hate cycle). The "I wish every time he touched me left a mark" is so hauntingly saddening, the wish for deformity so that people would see what a mess you are. The tragic thing about drug addiction and abusive relationships is that sometimes they can be so hidden that by the time friends and family find out about them it can be too late to help. EMA seems to be begging for some physical presence for her mental anguish so it can be better identified. Absolutely heartbreaking song.

EMA – Coda Lyrics 7 years ago
A little prelude to 'Marked', setting the stage for an abusive, drug addled relationship, with some crushing existential angst thrown in.

EMA – Red Star Lyrics 7 years ago
Can't believe there are no comments yet on such a brilliant song! My two cents:

Thematically consisted with the rest of Past Life Martyred Saints, this song seems to be about a failing, abusive relationship. The red star metaphor is worth paying attention to: a red giant star is a star in old age, that begins to swell massively in size. For example, when our sun enters its red giant phase, it will grow so large that it will envelop the earth (don't worry, billions of years away). The metaphor takes on many different aspects throughout the song, it can represent the intense passion of a budding relationship, the obliteration and destruction of an abusive relationship, and even the swan song of a dying relationship.

Musically, the song moves through these three phases. The first section deals with EMA falling for this green eyed boy. Calling him a boy suggests a sort of fake innocence, she is unable yet to see what this guy is capable of. His green eyes can represent physical attraction, beautiful eyes drawing her in. In this phase, the red star represents the passionate birth of a relationship, when kissing someone you care for lights that fire in your stomach.

The second phase of the song seems to be EMA's awakening that this relationship is failing. Oftentimes memory can trick us into believing things have stayed the same when the truth is what was once beautiful is now falling apart. At this point it is unclear if the relationship is just dysfunctional but the last line of the song seems to suggest that it is violent on some level. The 'For enough flesh wounds to make a kill' is somewhat difficult to interpret, I am unsure if it refers to her waiting until she sees a big enough hole in the relationship to make an escape, or interpreted more literally, she is worried that she or her lover will end up killing one or the other over this failing relationship.

The third section of the song deals with acceptance and moving on. EMA realizes there are better things out there, to find someone who can love her with all the passion and intensity of a red star, but without the death and destruction.

Anyway, this is just my interpretation, I think she is being cryptic enough that this song could probably be interpreted lots of ways. But thats part of why I am so drawn to her lyrical style.

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