EMMA RUTH RUNDLE
Red Sparowes member and LA songwriter finds some pain relief.
rundle’s last solo album, 2016’s Marked For Death, paradoxically gave the US songwriter a new lease of life. A waypoint after a bleak period struggling with alcohol, anxiety and substance abuse, it was an exorcism of sorts, finding catharsis in its red raw writing. Follow-up On Dark Horses dares to find hope in the title’s metaphor, stripping out a few layers of the Lynchian gothic claustrophobia and stepping into a more open, reverberating space – Louisville, Kentucky, to be precise. The move from LA, sparked by a relationship with Evan Patterson of labelmates Jaye Jayles, means we find Rundle channelling a little more country than on her last outing, not least on the reverb-laden ballad You Don’t Have To Cry. The collection still doesn’t sing with positivity, but compared to the boozy isolation of Rundle’s last outing, the warmth of these more communal sessions is palpable. Patterson’s baritone vocal on Light Song, for instance, forms a fine and suitably subtle counterfoil to Rundle’s own throaty murmur as the record’s earthy centrepiece hypnotically chants to a frenzy. A light in darkness. mP