Prolific guitarist and songwriter Emma Ruth Rundle finds a variety of ways to weave gothic elements into her music. Rundle caught audiences’ attentions with her expressive work in Red Sparowes, which has toured with goth godfather Nick Cave. More recently, Los Angeles–based Rundle formed Marriages with Greg Burns and Andrew Clinco. While Red Sparowes’s sound leans in a moody, shoegazey direction, Marriages sounds more like what you’d get if you locked the Sundays and early-years Dead Can Dance in a dark room together. Meanwhile, Rundle’s solo work is dark, acoustic, and often ethereal—a kind of unplugged sister to her Sargent House labelmate Chelsea Wolfe, one of the best-known musicians in present-day goth.
Rundle, whose new solo album, Marked for Death, drops in September, says she sees goth’s influence all over her music, particularly in her fondness for reverb and minor chords and her love of darkness.
Although she is often compared to goth artists of yore such as the Cocteau Twins, Rundle says such comparisons are flattering but inaccurate, and that the complex distinctions between women musicians are often ignored: “All us women wearing anything black or flowing, or perhaps even in well cut-button downs, will all be put into the same space ship of sadness and sailed into the nothing.”