On The Up
A tale of two cities and one dynamic talent
“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”