Emma Ruth Rundle holds a midnight rider full of mystery and environmental elements to her sound. She is entirely free in her newest work, On Dark Horses which captures a spiteful reflection of impactful instrumentation and her vocals that open the doors to a truly unbroken style.
Unique in the way that she can flow through the near majestic darkness to the progressions; Rundle is devastating on her opening track “Fever Dreams.” She is still a casual adventure of daunting relaxation, but her beginning focus is moved to become a slightly different mantra. “a life spent uneasy, in pieces always in pieces here. A life rent completely, release me away from fever dreams” Rundle describes as the thumping performance grasps the listener and pushes them off the cliff to see if they could fly. It is a controlled chaos on “Fever Dreams” that feels well-developed and seems as a fitting contradiction to the frantic lyrics of being trapped under the ice of a nightmare.
With the following tracks, “Races” is a piece that follows Rundle’s more lumbering, atmosphere heavy working. Her past work with Marked For Death showed true promise and made her a strong blip on the radar after an impressive display of cohesiveness behind the production and lyrical ability. With On Dark Horses, Rundle is similar in the way that she can be recognized throughout releases and forms her own identity.
With On Dark Horses, the tracks continually dive into each other in a transitional period that manages to keep the listener’s attention and hold some truth behind her style. She continues to impress with the daunting pieces but can also start to dive behind the triumphant, more paced tracks of the record. She however does the best job when her sound is animalistic, almost similar to a tribe and collective of a cave-dwelling people that move in unison. Her sound is incredibly tight here on On Dark Horses and for a good reason. She uses Dylan Naydon, Evan Patterson, and Todd Cook as her backup instrumentalists that provide a solid foundation for her wildest horses to run.
While her sound becomes similar throughout the record, Emma Ruth Rundle is constantly a treat that develops a methodology behind the madness. She can use effects and instruments in a way that is intriguing and engaging to the listener. Without fail, Rundle is prolific with On Dark Horses and continues to be impressive after each release.