Emma Ruth Rundle at Swedish American Hall
Tuesday, Mar 28, 2023
7:30pm – 11:00pm
“I don’t know what to reveal about this album,” Emma Ruth Rundle responds when pressed to talk about her latest record, the stark, intimate, and unflinching Engine of Hell. “I feel like I want to be left alone for a little bit… it doesn’t feel like it’s time to wave the ‘look at me’ flag.” It’s an understandable position given the heavy lyrical content of the record and the naked and exposed nature of the accompanying music. Even the most cursory listen of the album is sure to elicit some questions. Rundle has opted to forego the full-band arrangements of her last two albums—Marked For Death and On Dark Horses—in favor of the austerity of a lone piano or guitar and her voice, putting every word under the microscope. Engine of Hell was recorded almost entirely live with minimal overdubs, and the effect is an extremely up-close and personal confessional with an ASMR-level focus on the rich subtleties and timbre of Rundle’s graceful performances. Much like Nick Drake’s Pink Moon or Sibylle Baier’s Colour Green, Engine of Hell captures a moment where a masterful songwriter strips away all flourishes and embellishments in order to make every note and word hit with maximum impact. But it’s also a record that leaves little to hide behind.
Event LocationSwedish American Hall
2174 Market St,
San Francisco, CA