Whilst reading about a few shows that 40 Watt Sun were playing, I saw that Emma Ruth Rundle was going to be supporting them. I didn’t know who she was, so I decided to check out her music.
I bought her latest album, Marked for Death after hearing a song or two and gave it a proper listen shortly after. I found it to be interesting in some parts, but otherwise unremarkable.
After the second time I listened to it, I found that some of it was more appreciable than I had thought and found that the way the melodies of the songs supported Emma Ruth Rundle’s voice to be nice, but I still didn’t think much of what I was hearing.
I’m not sure as to how many times I’ve listened to Marked for Death at this point. It’s a solid album.
It has a real weight to it that doesn’t feel oppressively miserable or dark.
Despite (or perhaps due to) their sitting somewhere around rock and folk, the songs have a well-built texture and atmosphere that underscores lyrics about pain, defeat and (possibly) fear, as well as the voice that delivers said lyrics.
The greatest strength of this album is Emma Ruth Rundle’s vocal delivery. She has a lot of power when she sings and is more than willing to make sure it is used.
She also exhibits great command over her delivery, moving through getting louder and softer with no obvious difficulty, always sounding impassioned whilst avoiding becoming overblown.
It’s probably the biggest reason as to why the album doesn’t feel as bleak and downcast as it could. It would be easy to enough to deliver the lyrics with complete fragility, but instead of doing so, Emma Ruth Rundle allows for herself to sound confident when she feels she should, balancing the heavier themes with an uplifting mood. It gives more room to allow the listener to appreciate and understand what they’re hearing.
Marked for Death is solid. It works well as an album and is worth giving a listen.