Emma Ruth Rundle – On Dark Horses (Sargent House) 2018
Emma Ruth Rundle’s third solo full length studio album On Dark Horses does not ask for permission to come in: as soon as you press play, “Fever Dreams” kicks down the door with some of the dreamiest and most beautiful melancholia you’ll hear all year. The sound of Marked For Death seems to have been expanded upon, and the compositions have become more unpredictable, but the sense of mood has lost none of its footing. “Darkhorse” is easily a highlight, with its slowly building structure becoming an emotional freight train. “Dead Set Eyes” answers, at times, to the question “what would a Doom soundtrack of a Western film sound like?”, all the while soaring with disarming grace when the more melodic second half comes in. The closer “You Don’t Have to Cry” gently caresses the listener’s soul with a humanity that ironically borders on inducing tears.
On Dark Horses might just be Emma Ruth Rundle’s most accomplished work thus far, as well as her most stunningly beautiful. It might leave you, just as it did me, staring outside your window, frozen, lost for words and incapable of listening to anything else.