On her 1990 debut album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, Sinéad O’Connor sang about police brutality in the UK on the song “Black Boys In Mopeds.” Around Christmas, after seeing the rash of American police killings that made last year a hell of a time to be alive, Erika M. Anderson recorded her own version of the song. Where the O’Connor original is, more or less, an acoustic ballad, the EMA rendition is a droning, suffocated synth piece. But her cover is just as quietly devastating as the original. Below, listen to EMA’s take on the song and read her statement on it.
I recorded this version of the Sinead O’Connor song “Black Boys On Mopeds” during the winter, before Christmas. I did it late at night during a power outage, straight onto the laptop in a cold house filled with candles.
I meant to release it over the holidays but for multiple reasons it just didn’t happen.
Now an investigative report by the DOJ has confirmed a history and pattern of racially-based discrimination and harassment amongst the law enforcement of Ferguson, MO.
I’ve chosen to leave the “season’s greetings” motif unchanged, even though I consider this issue to be ongoing.
EMA’s album The Future’s Void is out now on Matador, and it’s great.