Emma Ruth Rundle has announced the release of her brand new album, Engine of Hell, and it will be out on November 5th, 2021 via Sargent House.
A gentle melancholy piano line introduces album opener and lead single “Return,” and when Rundle finally sings, every syllable guided with the utmost intention, she unleashes the ominously cryptic opening lines “A rich belief that no one sees you / Your ribbon cut from all the fates and / Some hound of Hell looking for handouts / The breath between things no one says.”
“Return” is available today via Sargent House and comes accompanied with a striking and introspective video directed by Rundle herself. The visual was heavily inspired by Jean Cocteau’s Orpheus and Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire, and gives nods to other films and images. Of “Return”, Rundle unfolds: “An examination of the existential. A fractured poem. Trying to quantify what something is definitely about or pontificating on its concrete meaning defeats the purpose of art making. I’m not a writer. I make music and images to express things that my words cannot convey or emote. I’ve been studying ballet and the practice of expression through movement, which I incorporated into the video. I choreographed a dance to the song – some of which you see. Pieces show through. Since completing ‘Engine of Hell’, I’ve stepped away from music more and more and into things like dance, painting and working on ideas for videos or little films. ‘Return’ is the result of the efforts.”
Listen to “Return” and watch the video for it below:
On Engine of Hell, Rundle focuses on an instrument that she left behind in her early twenties when she began playing in bands: the piano. In combination with her voice, the piano playing on Engine of Hell creates a kind of intimacy, as if we’re sitting beside Rundle on the bench, or perhaps even playing the songs ourselves. Sonically she captures the imperfection and the vulnerability of humanity. “Here are some very personal songs; here are my memories; here is me teetering on the very edge of sanity dipping my toe into the outer reaches of space and I’m taking you with me and it’s very f****d up and imperfect.”
“For me this album is the end of an era to the end of a decade of making records. Things DO have to change and have changed for me since I finished recording it.” In essence, Engine of Hell signifies a major turning point for Rundle as both an artist and as a person.
Engine of Hell artwork & tracklist:
2. Blooms of Oblivion
4. The Company
5. Dancing Man
6. Razor’s Edge
8. In My Afterlife