Emma Ruth Rundle In Treble’s Top Albums And Top Songs Of 2016

#21 Album of 2016: Marked For Death

Emma Ruth Rundle’s made some powerful statements as a player in a greater whole, as a member of Marriages and Red Sparowes. Her third album as a solo artist is the one that carries the heaviest weight, however, its eight songs mired in both emotional devastation and ominous beauty. Recorded during the winter in the California desert, its chilling and often stark atmosphere reflects the surroundings in which it was made. Her songs evade easy categorization—gothic folk with a side of doom metal perhaps, as displayed in the haunted rise and fall of the title track or the skeletal ballad “Real Big Sky,” which closes the album on an emotional gut punch that leaves an even deeper and more painful mark than the album’s loudest songs—which are devastating in their own right. Marked For Death gains its power from hopelessness and transforms it into eerie, sometimes crushingly heavy beauty—wounded clarity in the eye of a storm of swirling guitars. – Jeff Terich

#32 Song of 2016: “Protection”

Protection” is a continuous downward spiral into hopelessness and despair. On a record in which darkness is a constant, draped over anything and everything instead of merely nipping at the heels, “Protection” finds something climactic and anthemic about hitting a low. Emma Ruth Rundle portrays an unreciprocated dependency in terms both evocative (“Heaven sends him down to me“) and unglamorous (“I am worthless in your arms“) while finding a sort of romantic irony in it all: “But you offer this protection no one has given me.” As she grazes rock bottom, it explodes into a powerful, almost metal climax. Each echoing guitar riff parallels the comfort of those coldly protective arms, delivering triumph where there should only be defeat – Jeff Terich

Via Treble Magazine’s Top Albums of 2016 and Top Songs of 2016