Emma Ruth Rundle's November 2021 fully acoustic album Engine of Hell is easily her most devastating body of music. A marked departure from her previous electric work — especially May Our Chambers Be Full, her 2020 joint LP with Louisiana sludge demons Thou, and its companion EP, The Helm of Sorrow — its crystalline austerity is even more terrifying than those records' epic excess.
Now she's announced she'll follow the same protocol with her most recent release as she did for the previous project, dropping a follow-up EP of unreleased songs from the album's sessions. Orpheus Looking Back, a three-track tape of Engine of Hell extras, is due March 25 via Sargent House, and its first single, "Pump Organ Song," is out today.
True to its name, it's a somber, plodding cut for voice and pump organ, immediately set apart from the rest of EOH, on which Rundle alternated between piano and guitar. Above the instrument's swelling chords and overtones, she sings with a familiar mournfulness, celebrating the beauty of grief laid bare.
“In the year that has come since recording the song, I feel more and more connected to this love song," she writes. "It is still speaking to me about the process of parting ways and how romantic arrangements change and relationships close.”