At the heart of Miss Erma’s music lies tension. Tension between caution and brazenness, between refined poise and raw instinct, between the playful vigor of youth and the even keel of maturity.
Miss Erma hails from the seaside town of Satellite Beach, Florida, but her career launched when she arrived in San Francisco in 2010, quickly catching eyes and ears with her precise and effortless vocal delivery. The melodic movement of her songs and distinct arrangement choices--most often chamber strings, clarinet, Erma herself on violin, piano and guitar--reveals her two decades of classical training. Yet as comfortably as she wields that discipline, Erma emerges from those stuffy conservatory halls without any of the pretense, crafting delightful pop and folk songs that draw on influences from Presley to Dylan to Orbison. Her deep familiarity with the jazz vocal tradition is also immediately evident, inviting comparisons to such legends as Nancy Wilson and Ella Fitzgerald.
Erma deftly blends this ancestry and tradition into a confident, distinct musical voice of her own. She carries herself with a precocious self-possession reminiscent of an early Fiona Apple, if that young talent had heard and heeded Tom Robbins’ advice: “Lighten up!” Erma holds that tension, taut as a catgut string on an antique viol, growing sweeter with age. When that tone reaches your ears, it’s all you can do to marvel at the paradox of it: the sound of a heart both heavy and light at the same time.
Miss Erma has released a self-titled EP and several singles. Her newest full length album, Bambina, came out January 16, 2015 @ Viracocha in San Francisco.