On The Up

A tale of two cities and one dy­namic ta­lent

Total Guitar - - CONTENTS -

“Where we prac­tise there are old, aban­doned fac­to­ries ... a for­eign bleak land­scape”

Louisville, Ken­tucky is per­ish­ingly cold in the win­ter yet hot and close in sum­mer. It is ap­pro­pri­ate as an adopted home for Emma Ruth Run­dle – a dark, dy­namic gui­tarist who can move from folk-tinted, finger-pick­ings to tonal mass de­struc­tion in the blink of an eye.

“There seems to be a bit of con­fu­sion, even among the peo­ple that live here, as to whether this is the Mid West or the South,” ac­knowl­edges Run­dle, an LA na­tive. “Out­side there are trees that are six-sto­ries tall, full of ci­cadas. It’s su­per-hu­mid. When I got here, last year, it was like this and that’s when I started writ­ing the al­bum. So you have this beau­ti­ful na­ture that van­ishes in win­ter. You could throw a glass of wa­ter into the air and it would freeze. Ev­ery­thing dies.”

On­dark­horses is the record borne from this po­larised en­vi­ron­ment. While pre­vi­ous solo out­ing Marked Fordeath chan­neled the ragged, iso­lated desert lo­cale of her la­bel’s Pin­ion Hills record­ing stu­dio into a starkly hon­est doc­u­ment of strug­gles with al­co­hol and men­tal health, this is a dif­fer­ent beast. The likes of Light­song are heavy and hu­mid, full of fat-rounded bass and splash­ing chords, but there are coun­ter­weights dot­ted around the record, like the dis­tant, icy-de­lays of Apa­thy On­the­bor­der.

“Where we prac­tise, there are train tracks ev­ery­where, you have these old aban­doned fac­to­ries and it’s like this for­eign, bleak land­scape,” says Run­dle. “Then we were liv­ing in this house that’s 200 years old and ev­ery­one calls it ‘the witch house’. So we have this spooky house, a weird in­dus­trial land­scape... the freez­ing cold. I reached a point writ­ing Apa­thy­on­the In­di­an­abor­der where I think it got to me. I al­most named the record Es­trangedinthe Mid-west. There’s an el­e­ment of be­ing a stranger in a strange land.”

For fans of Chelsea Wolfe, Big Brave

Gear Guild T-bird, Mar­shall JCM900, Roland Jazz Cho­rus

Theem­maruth Run­dle mys­tery: “a dark,dy­namic gui­tarist”

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