...Emma Ruth Rundle, clad in an elegant black dress, took the stage and through a simple and minimal setup of a microphone, guitar and pedalboard, she successfully held the entire room captive with a tender singing voice and melancholic guitar play. While she tuned her guitar between songs, she filled silences with ambient loops and samples. ‘Shadows Of My Name’ off of her 2014 full-length Sargent House Records release ‘Some Heavy Ocean’ is one of the simplest yet most captivating musical compositions I have come across in recent years, and it was also the highlight of this set as Emma Ruth Rundle strummed on the guitar with added intensity and vocally broke out of the tenderness to hit soaring highs. Another notable segment of her set was when she was joined by Alcest frontman Neige, as he walked onto the stage with no prior announcement or introduction by her, and garnered a huge cheer from a pleasantly surprised audience as a result.
Emma Ruth Rundle’s music is not hard rock or heavy metal, and many, including the artist, might wonder why she is being written about on this site, but there is no denying that her dark, melancholic musical expression is akin to that of some variants of heavy metal, and is more engaging and powerful than a lot of things that do get categorized as metal. Fans of latter-years Alcest, and the post/atmospheric/ambient/progressive rock realm in general, would find Emma Ruth Rundle’s artistry worthwhile, and ticket holders of the remaining shows on this tour are strongly encouraged to turn up early enough to watch her set.
Video footage of Emma Ruth Rundle performing with Neige of Alcest at this show: