The Louisville musician Emma Ruth Rundle makes dark, heavy, beautiful music that doesn’t quite conform to any one particular genre. She’s probably closer to goth or folk than she is to metal, but she’s still plenty comfortable operating within the metal world. Last month, Rundle, for instance, teamed up with members of bands like Mastodon, YOB, and Old Man Gloom for a remote cover of the Kate Bush classic “Running Up That Hill.” And this summer, Rundle was supposed to be a curator for the great Dutch metal-centric festival Roadburn, which has since been postponed until next year.
Two years ago, Rundle released a great album called On Dark Horses. Today, she’s shared a new song that comes from those sessions. It’s not quite clear why “Staying Power,” her new one, wasn’t on the album; it’s definitely good enough to make the cut. “Staying Power” is a tingly jam that slowly ascends into fiery catharsis. Check it out below.
In a press release Rundle says:
There is very little mystery as to what this song is about. The lyrics are not metaphorical. It’s about being a touring musician and trying to survive, to conjure the self discipline to go on without sacrificing sensitivity. How we can become hardened as a result of constantly selling our feelings, how I didn’t want that to happen to me but could feel the callousness building. It’s also about the financial feast or famine and whether a little immediate monetary gain is worth the expenditure of youth. It’s about wondering how long I might be allowed to do this and the fear that it could end at any moment — with Covid, the song has some renewed relevance in that regard. It talks about what it means to endure and what the rewards and consequences of such persistence might be.
“Staying Power” is out now on Sargent House.