When there’s a dark atmosphere, the right lyrics can really make an impactful, haunting story. That’s proven throughout Emma Ruth Rundle‘s newest record. Emma Ruth Rundle battles oppressive emotions in On Dark Horses, a daunting record that will really trap you in as well.
As oppressive as On Dark Horses is, the start of the record is almost the opposite to what the rest offers. ‘Fever Dreams‘ opens the record in this weirdly freeing way, almost as if the relief comes before the action does. Maybe Rundle’s relief is too premature, as must of the rest of the record feels like she’s trapped. Songs like ‘Races‘ really feel, in every essence about the track, that there’s something keeping her back that she cannot get past. There’s a dark force that constantly grabs at her and is present in the music.
That “force” is largely part of the oppressive vibes the record has. ‘Control‘ has this huge, damning atmosphere to it that feels almost physically heavy on you. ‘Darkhorse‘ follows with more drive to it, but similar darkness. It’s that dark quality in each song, paired with Rundle’s haunted melodies and vocals, that really make you feel like you’re listening to something evil at work. It’s cinematic, in a way; there’s even film-like tension at times, in tracks like ‘Apathy On The Indiana Border.’ The record ends in a similar fashion as it began, but in a notably more calm atmosphere. Rundle is finally freed from these dark emotions and can move forward in ‘You Don’t Have To Cry.’
Emma Ruth Rundle battles oppressive emotions in On Dark Horses, a powerful EP dominated by a wish to escape. This record is a journey to freedom, and despite the oppression it faces, it gets there in the end. It has the darkness of Chelsea Wolfe with its own unique dynamic. It’s definitely one you don’t want to skip.
Favorite Tracks: Apathy On The Indiana Border, Control
Least Favorite Track: Dead Set Eyes
Rating: 77 / 100
Stream or buy On Dark Horses on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: