Posts Tagged ‘On Dark Horses’

One of alternative music’s most prolific songwriters, Emma Ruth Rundle has surfaced with a never-before-heard song, “Staying Power.”  The track was recorded as part of 2018’s On Dark Horses studio session but didn’t appear on the paramount recording.  Now, the steadfast single has surfaced on streaming services (and will appear on Bandcamp with all sales proceeds will going directly to the artist this Friday, July 3)—  stream/purchase/download here: https://smarturl.it/ERR-SP

Listen to ‘Staying Power’ here:

Emma Ruth Rundle comments: “There is very little mystery as to what this song is about. The lyrics are not metaphorical. It’s about being a touring musician and trying to survive, to conjure the self discipline to go on without sacrificing sensitivity. How we can become hardened as a result of constantly selling our feelings, how I didn’t want that to happen to me but could feel the callousness building. It’s also about the financial feast or famine and whether a little immediate monetary gain is worth the expenditure of youth. It’s about wondering how long I might be allowed to do this and the fear that it could end at any moment—  with Covid, the song has some renewed relevance in that regard. It talks about what it means to endure and what the rewards and consequences of such persistence might be.”

As it’s been for many artists, 2020 was cut short for Emma Ruth Rundle; she’d just finished a North American tour with Cult of Luna when the Covid-19 pandemic hit in the states, and was confirmed as a curator of the monumental Roadburn Festival that has since been rescheduled to 2021.  With the newfound time at home, Rundle decided to release previously unheard “Staying Power” as its lyrics rang true once again.  The tracks from this 2018 On Dark Horses recording session feature Emma Ruth Rundle’s most cinematic approach to her sincere and candid songwriting — they are as disquieting as they are ethereal. 

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Closing out a long year spent on the road, singer/songwriter Emma Ruth Rundle has revealed her final music video to accompany her 2018 album On Dark Horses. Directed by Mitch Wells (Thou) and starring the song’s muse and inspiration, Blake Armstrong, the video for ‘You Don’t Have to Cry’ is poignant and affecting and further solidifies Rundle’s place as one of music’s most dextrous minds.

Watch the video here:

Sargent House – 14th September 2018

Christopher Nosnibor

Emma Ruth Rundle clearly likes to keep busy. Her career with The Nocturnes crossed over with her joining The Red Sparowes, which in turn crossed with the start of her solo career, which saw the release of ambient effort Electric Guitar: One in 2011, while also embarking with another band in the form of the trio Marriages in 2012. Her sprawling and rapidly-expanding discography is a document of a restless soul, and a spirit who’s not only creative but incapable of taking respite.

On Dark Horses may only contain eight songs, and none of significant length (the album clocks in around the forty-two minute mark, harking back to the days of an album fitting snugly, ideally with just a little breathing room, on one side of a C90 cassette), but it’s got range and intensity.

There are dark, haunting undertones to the dramatic shades cast on opener ‘Fever Dreams’, which bursts loud from between delicate wisps of fractal guitar before taking a more languid and wistful turn around the mid-point. ‘This shit is real,’ she agitates at one point. This shit is also graceful and expansive and powerful. ‘Control’ – one of the album’s real standouts – begins gently, mellow, chiming guitar that’s a post-rock country crossover providing the backdrop to Emma’s lilting country-infused vocals… before the deluge of distortion crashes in like a landslide. And keep on crashing, thunderously, a massive mess of sludgy weight, burying the drums an all but the cymbals, mashing and crashing away in the background. ‘Darkhorse’, too, builds gradually, chimes gracefully, and roars like thunder beneath a delicate vocal.

While any Chelsea Wolfe comparisons have merit, particularly in relation to the front end of the album, Emma Ruth Rundle brings a whole slew of other aspects to the party on On Dark Horses there’s a heavy folk element, both to the music and in Emma’s voice. Then again, post-rock passages yield to blistering crescendos that also draw on the most explosively soaring shoegaze.

When she takes it downtempo, as on ‘Races’, there are deep, sad guitar notes which arc, aquiver with reverb. And across the album, the sense of depth conveyed by the rich textures and the three-dimensional fullness of the sound render the songs with a rare physicality and intensity.

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Emma Ruth Rundle – On Dark Horses