EMA’s ‘Stand With You (Song For Ghostship)’ Is An Emotional Tribute To The Lives Lost In Oakland

EMA hasn’t released an album since 2014’s The Future’s Void. However, the folks behind the progressive cause-supporting compilation Our First 100 Days managed to get her to release a track. The resulting song “Stand With You (Song For Ghostship)” is an emotional an funereal tribute to the lives lost in Oakland’s tragic Ghostship fire.

EMA sounds weary over a church organ as she delivers a message from a person suffering through survivor’s guilt, before repeating “In this life you shouldn’t have to decide between being safe and being free.”

EMA explained the song in a note posted to her Twitter, saying that she originally planned to release it as part of a fire benefit compilation.

Since the fire at the Oakland DIY space claimed 36 lives, the mayor of Oakland has stepped up to provide protections for at-risk tenants in the city. Mayor Libby Schaaf made it easier for places where people are illegally living to be inspected and re-zoned while also providing tenant protections to avoid disruptive and sudden evictions.

“We must unite as a City to improve the safety of non-conforming spaces while also working to avoid displacing vulnerable community members,” Schaaf said in a statement at the time.

At the same time the artist community has come together both to mourn the people that they lost and self-police so that the conditions that led to the Oakland fire don’t happen again.