Posts Tagged ‘On Dark Horses’

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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”

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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

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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.