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.