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Emma Ruth Rundle





Levitiation: Emma Ruth Rundle Bangs Heavy Folk at Empire

  

 

From one night to the other during Levitation, the scene at Empire tonight feels drastically different but also the same. It’s still dark but dark rock, instead of dark wave dance, as Empire hosts a ticket of Sargent House Presents.

 

Emma Ruth Rundle is the penultimate performance of the indoor stage. The psychedelic grayscale light illustrations blanket over her body and guitar while the autumn breeze blows in feathering her bangs. Her silhouette is reminiscent of a young Stevie Nicks but her sound is uniquely her own. While the other bands of the evening fall on the heavy side of the spectrum, Rundle finds herself between metal and ethereal. Her voice soars from her trachea like a free bird or prey as she plays the goth folk anthem, “Shadows of My Name.”

 

The vibe of the night pivots beneath an undercurrent of rock as the heavy pull of her guitar and the war drum cadence of “Fever Dreams” spellbinds the audience into an amorphous bobbing of heads and knocking of knees. The subsequent song “Darkhorse” from her 2018 album, On Dark Horses, closes the set and seals the venue in a new covenant. With fests every weekend in Austin, one might forget that this is fucking Levitation fest and not just a regular Friday night on 7th street. The covenant of Emma Ruth Rundle makes this evening at Empire a timeless place of memory blessed by the deities of goth folk n roll in which we can return. Levitation isn’t every weekend, but you can still levitate daily and harness the residual energy and adrenaline of the festival.

 

-Mel Green

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Stream: Emma Ruth Rundle, "Arms I Know So Well"

Standing well on her own two feet, Emma Ruth Rundle has released the first single from her forthcoming solo album, due out May 20 on Sargent House. She is best known for her work in Red Sparowes and Marriages, but this first listen feels like a necessary endeavor. The opening is wistful and ghostly, as her voice and guitar stand solitarily in reverberant space. The sparse arrangement pierces straight to the heart and leaves no room for doubt that her melancholy cries for comfort and redemption are an exorcism of sorts. Gently in the background, the strings moan like a tortured soul calling from the grave for deliverance. Her beautifully tortured cry of "please deliver me from all the evil I've done to myself and deliver me to arms I know so well" acts as a prologue to the story that is to unfold through the rest of her album. If these goosebumps are telling, it is sure to be amongst the top in those year end lists. - Jacqueline Caruso

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