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Emma Ruth Rundle - Some Heavy Ocean

  by Mark Rowland

published: 17 / 6 / 2014

Emma Ruth Rundle - Some Heavy Ocean
Label: Sargent House
Format: CD


Atmospheric and dark 90’s-influenced album from Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and Red Sparowes guitarist, Emma Ruth Rundle

Emma Ruth Rundle has fronted LA bands the Nocturnes and Marriages, and is also the guitarist for post-rock group Red Sparowes. ‘Some Heavy Ocean’ is not her first solo release, but it is the first to feature her voice prominently. The album is chocked full of dark, hazy guitar songs, a similar furrow to the one ploughed by Sharon Van Etten, though that’s not to say that their songwriting shares any more than tone and atmospherics. There’s something pleasingly 90’s about Emma Ruth Rundle’s music – elements that bring to mind Mazzy Star and the darker female singer-songwriters of a mid-90’s vintage. This is primarily dressing around Rundle’s brilliant guitar work, which is both intricate and unshowy. On top of that, Rundle lets her voice soar. There’s something vaguely Bjorkish about it, in the way that Rundle will switch between restraint and maximum power with a nano-second’s notice – ‘Haunted House’ and ‘Shadows of My Name’ being prime examples. Arrangements are for the most part stripped back and restrained, but deliver additional drama when required, such as the stormy end of ‘Arms I Know So Well’. ‘Oh Sarah’, one of the album’s folkiest moments, is a standout – both pretty and eerie in a country-folkish kind of way, but utilizing a pentatonic scale in a way that evokes oriental mysticism. Closer ‘Living With the Black Dog’ is a bit of an anomaly, ditching the intricate acoustic plumbing with semi-formless, reverb-heavy distorted guitar. It holds together, however, and proves to be one of the album’s most striking songs.

Track Listing:-
1 Some Heavy Ocean
2 Shadows of My Name
3 Your Card the Sun
4 Run Forever
5 Haunted Houses
6 Arms I Know So Well
7 Oh Sarah
8 Savage Saint
9 We Are All Ghosts
10 Living With the Black Dog

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Marked for Death (2016)
Second solo album from Marriages and Red Sparrowes singer-songwriter Emma Jane Rundle is an austere but largely rewarding listen

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