On first hearing Exile in the Outer Ring (which I’ve now listened to 100s of times) I wrote:
The new EMA record is sublime. Currently blasting it beyond the edge of the m25 (the literal outer ring of London) and never has a record felt more like an etching on my emotional void. It’s written in neon pink graffiti across the walls of my heart, saying something like: ‘Adulthood is happening to other people’ whilst pondering if I’ll ever grow out of this angst.
It’s rife with the FOMO feeling that something amazing but awful is happening elsewhere, and I don’t really care that I’m not there but I’m all too aware that this place, this situation, this pleasant jejune commuter haven is little more than a rest stop between now and death. And yet, for all that fug of bleakness, for all the raw anger and spiralling anxiety atop heaving drones of sound exhumed from some place of blissed out cacophony, there’s this sense of belonging to a lost tribe, living a shared (virtual) reality of broken promises and projected realities. There’s something vivid about its ache. It’s realising everything most people aspired to is amounting to nothing but a pile of dirt and some bricks, trinkets and commodities that numb the sense that you’re teetering on the edge of an abyss filled with nuclear waste.
This is the record I needed, especially today, alone in the Outer Ring. Possibly my first 10/10 record of the year.