EP review: Emma Ruth Rundle – Orpheus Looking Back

Emma Ruth Rundle tugs on heartstrings with the raw simplicity of Orpheus Looking Back…

EP review: Emma Ruth Rundle – Orpheus Looking Back
Angela Davey

Emma Ruth Rundle’s 2021 album Engine Of Hell carried an enormous emotional weight. So much so that a further EP is required to convey the full spectrum of feeling therein. Orpheus Looking Back does just that: a collection of three songs that didn’t make the cut for Engine Of Hell, but are still poignant enough in their own right to merit being shared with the world.

Gilded Cage provides a delicate introduction. Carefully plucked acoustic guitar floats like a spectre alongside Emma’s haunting voice, before shifting gears to Pump Organ Song. The wavering melody of the instrument of the title adds an additional air of melancholy to the lament ringing clear in Emma’s vocals, conjuring up images of heartbreak and regret. It’s the definite standout, and leaves a lasting impact of profound sadness. St. Non closes out this opus, slightly more subdued than the previous two songs; it’s the musical equivalent of ending a chapter on a bittersweet note – sad and hushed, yet full of hope.

The Engine Of Hell writing sessions yielded some of Emma’s best work, and Orpheus Looking Back is a reminder of her raw talent. Despite sitting under 10 minutes in duration, this EP still manages to lodge itself in the gaps where emotional scars have yet to heal and will resonate with anyone who has suffered emotional hurt at any point in their lives. Misery loves company, and there’s a certain kind of kinship to be felt in Emma so boldly opening up via her music.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Chelsea Wolfe, A.A. Williams, 40 Watt Sun

Orpheus Looking Back is out now via Sargent House

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