Posts Tagged ‘Emma Ruth Rundle’

Image may contain: one or more people, text and closeup

The cover to Emma Ruth Rundle’s fourth solo record, “On Dark Horses”, bears a blurry photo of the songwriter obscuring her face with a large toy horse with broken legs. The photo suggests something candid but also hidden, graceful but also fractured—a fitting portrait for an artist who has established a career by vacillating between shrouding herself in mystery and exposing her wounds to the world.

Previous album Marry Us mirrors On Dark Horses’ Light Song, with the union of Rundle’s siren vocals and Patterson’s poised baritone conjuring a dizzying and feverish update on the duets of Johnny Cash and June Carter. The eight tracks of On Dark Horses capture the evolution of Rundle as an artist, with vestigial traces of the savvy guitar work of Electric Guitar: One, the siren song beauty of Some Heavy Ocean, and the amplified urgency of Marked For Death all factoring into the album’s rich tapestry. Rundle arrives at the end of the album with an ode to a traumatized and heartbroken friend on the grand and triumphant You Don’t Have To Cry.

Emma Ruth Rundle has released a new single ‘Staying Power’, recorded during the sessions for her last album, “On Dark Horses”.

“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.”

Emma Ruth Rundle “Staying Power” available now on Sargent House, Recorded during the sessions for “On Dark Horses”

Image may contain: 1 person

Image may contain: one or more people, text and closeup

A message about the song/video from Emma Ruth Rundle and Blake Armstrong. “I wrote this song for my dear friend, artist Blake Armstrong, out of love and in the hope it would console and encourage strength after he expressed to me his fears about living as an openly gay male in a country that’s led by an unabashedly hateful figure – and the effects said figure might have on the the country, its laws and its citizens. I hope that the message of the song and video can comfort and empower those who feels marginalized or mistreated or unsafe. I’m happy we finally had a chance to realize our idea for this video. It means so much to us both.”

ERR Blake Armstrong says: “The main feeling I’ve felt has been the level of uncertainty that has made its ugly head known as of recent. Fear is how I feel. Growing up in Texas, I was used to closing myself off or being aware of how I expressed myself for fear of violence. Leaving the south and moving to other parts of the country and even to Canada, I finally felt safe to share myself and personality because I was around like-minded individuals. It felt free. But as of late in this country, that fear has returned wearing a red hat that has made me want to quiet myself and the freedom of who I am. What’s worse is not only feeling this not just personally but also nationally. I feel hated. I think with ‘You Don’t Have To Cry’ and this video, it’s a reassurance to be who you are now more than ever. That there are people who will embrace you but that regardless, nothing is more important than embracing yourself. You were always meant to be the person you are and that there isn’t any amount of hate or bigotry holding you back from living your truest life.” Blake Armstrong

From the album “On Dark Horses”, available now on Sargent House

Image may contain: one or more people, text and close-up

As if she doesn’t have enough to be proud of from her work with post-rock outfit Red Sparowes, psych-metal band Marriages, and slowcore collective Nocturne, Emma Ruth Rundle also put out a delectably moody eight-song goth-folk collection this year. Heavy on reverb-drenched atmospherics, Rundle’s latest finds her accompanying her own hypnotically fluttering vocal confessionals with glistening clean-toned SGs, jangly Jazzmasters, and doomy 6-string washes that float atop a backdrop of drums that alternate between loudly and subtly thundering.

From the new album “On Dark Horses”, released September 14th, 2018 on Sargent House.

Image result

Emma Ruth Rundle is a doom-folk/ambient folk singer/songwriter and visual artist from Los Angeles. You may know her from her work with the post-punk bands Marriages and Red Sparrowes. She’s also released a few solo recordings. First was the Electric Guitar One EP in 2011. That record is thirty minutes of continuous instrumental ambient electric guitar in six chapters. It was written and recorded during the Red Sparrowes tour of Europe in 2010. In 2014, she released her first proper solo record called Some Heavy Ocean. That one is still plenty ambient, but leaning towards folk. In some ways, it’s reminiscent of the first two Mazzy Star records.

Emma Ruth Rundles lives in LA and participates in music (Marriages, Red Sparowes, The Nocturnes – but alone) and visual/video art. Managed by Sargent House.

In September of this year, she released her sophomore album “Marked for Death”. As the album title suggests, there’s a lot of death imagery and other explorations on the issue of mortality. It’s dark and a bit heavy, but it’s a lovely record that demands a thorough listen. A lot of the songs are about a relationship gone wrong. The word on the street is that all of the songs are connected by that thread, and that it’s actually a narrative about the same failing (or failed) relationship. Frequent readers of the blog know that I’m a real sucker for that kind of sad gal stuff. I’m reminded a little bit of Cat Power, and also of the great Torres.


The whole record is really good, and I think it should be listened to, with no distractions. That said, I really like this song:“Protection” by Emma Ruth Rundle.

I like the fact that it’s low-end heavy. I love the chorus or delay or whatever on the vocals. I adore the fact that it’s relatively quiet for each of the verses, but louder in the chorus, and at the end of the chorus, it’s thunderously loud and fuzzy. I love that loud and fuzzy bit, but what I love even more is when it comes to a rapid halt and is juxtaposed right up against the quiet verse. Rundle’s voice is beautiful, soft and sweet, but also very strong. We shouldn’t lose sight of that even with all the talk of the glory of the noise and the fury brought on by the effects pedals.


Marked for Death was released on September 30th via Sargent House Records. You can buy physical copies via Hello Merch here. It’s also available for download from Bandcamp here.

thanks to

This is a record that decisively indicates what’s to be found within then duly delivers with a thundering, fearsome bout of heavyweight indie rock. Marked for death? You better damn well believe it.

Something like Cat Power battling her way through the heaviest of thunderstorms, the new record is a marked stride forward in to the abyss from her 2014 ‘Some Heavy Ocean’ LP, the eight tracks on ‘Marked For Death’ positively burn with intensity, even before you dig in to the wildly striking set of lyrics that accompany these dramatic compositions. Indicative of the soaring, stifling nature of the record as a whole, the opening, and title, track stands as one of the year’s most ominous tracks; “Who else is going to love someone like you that’s marked for death?” Emma Ruth Rundle bellows with all the fiery ferocity of someone who sees the world a little differently to most. A monumental effort not for the weary-hearted; but a monumental effort all the same.


Emma Ruth Rundle lives in Los Angeles and participates in music (Marriages, Red Sparowes, The Nocturnes – but alone) and visual/video art. Managed by Sargent House.