Erika M. Anderson, better known by her stage name EMA, is an American singer and songwriter from South Dakota. Originally the lead singer of drone-folk band Gowns, she released her debut album Little Sketches on Tape in 2010 on Night People, an independent music label founded by former Raccoo-oo-oon member Shawn Reed. In 2011 EMA released her second album Past Life Martyred Saints, which received positive reviews from Pitchfork Media, Drowned in Sound, and the NME. After releasing her debut album, EMA was named "New Band of the Day" by The Guardian and "Artist to Watch" by Rolling Stone. In 2011 she performed "Endless, Nameless" for Spin's twentieth anniversary tribute to Nirvana's album Nevermind. Her song "The Grey Ship" was used on an episode of Adult Swim's Off the Air.
She has been heavily blogged about and was described by Yahoo! News as one of the most blogged artist of the week. This was calculated using an aggregator of 1000 music blogs.
Anderson played guitar for the experimental rock project Amps for Christ until the early 2000s. In 2006, she shaped the noise-folk band Gowns with The Mae Shi member and then-boyfriend Ezra Buchla. The duo, along with the former drummer of The Mae Shi, Corey Fogel, relocated to San Francisco, California. After holding recording sessions in Anderson's home in South Dakota, the group released its first record, Red State, in 2007. After the record's release, Jacob Felix Heule and Aaron Davis became additions to the band, with Heule replacing Fogel as drummer and Davis becoming the group's bassist. Gowns continued to tour and record, releasing its third and final album, Broken Bones, in 2009.