Emma Ruth Rundle released one of my favorite albums of last year with her debut solo effort, Some Heavy Ocean. That album showed her quiet intensity as a singer and lyricist, as well as her ability to incorporate ambient and post-rock elements into her more folk-style songwriting. This year, she returned to fronting Marriages, where she rocks a bit harder fronting a full band that backs her up with swirling guitar influenced by bands like The Cure.
While Marriages’ first release, Kitsune, mostly buried Rundle’s vocals beneath the heavy guitar, Salome borrows from her solo album and is more centered around her vocals and now-decipherable lyrics. Rundle’s biggest gift continues to be her commitment to the songs and the passion she conveys with her voice, which fits the dramatic sound that Marriages go for. Salome is pretty gloomy throughout, with many biblical references and talks of “spitting on your mother’s grave,” but Rundle’s performance keeps it engaging and ultimately rewarding.