WHY THEM: Although she moved to Los Angeles at 18 to change the world with her first outfit, Gowns, Erika M. Anderson is a South Dakotan at heart. Her new solo project, EMA, has seen her blowing up with a fascinating and strange debut, Past Life Martyred Saints, that is a reflection on her time away from home while still waving the freak flag of her previous Sioux Falls projects, like Man Hater and Swamp Pussy. Only this time she isn't relying on the skate-punk posse of her youth, as Past Life sees her focusing her one-woman weirdness on a musical bed of ballad-y tangents and crushing electro destruction. Tunes like "California" see her bitterly regarding the place that took her from her home with its siren call to stardom and all that that entails — but even if you can take the girl from South Dakota, you can't take the South Dakota from the girl.
ALSO CONSIDERED: Despite our slight goalpost moving here, we settled on EMA fairly quickly.