Emma Ruth Rundle’s Engine Of Hell LP spoke to me in volumes I cannot even begin to describe, it is in another sense, my favourite album of 2021 when my mood calls for it. The eight songs are so fragile, haunting, beautifully dark, hypnotic and remarkably it has speckles of hope drizzled throughout a full-length of unembellished and raw exposure of sorrow. There is a lyric in the song ‘Razor’s Edge’ that would best describe my whirlwind that was 2021:
“If you have something left, don’t be holding out”.
Without exposing too much, I experienced a loss that I may never recover from and in turn hit a low-point that has been near impossible to rebuild from. However, I found that I still had “something left” in regards to numerous life dimensions; I made a drastic career change to an industry I have been infatuated with for decades, my band SwordfishTrombone pushed forward during a pandemic (as many have had to) – we performed sold out shows, we were played on Triple J’s Short.Fast.Loud and we were nominated for a South Australian Music Award in the Best Heavy Act category. I surfed more, I continued to write both creatively and on the journalism platform and I am discovering a new energy by not “holding out”. This will continue to be my aspiration into the new year and: ‘How Not To Drown’.
TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2021
#10 – Wolves In The Throne Room – Primordial Arcana
#9 – Rinuwat – Dua Naga
#8 – At The Gates – The Nightmare Of Being
#7 – Gojira – Fortitude
#6 – Turnstile – Glow On
#5 – The Bronx – VI
#4 – Emma Ruth Rundle – Engine Of Hell
#3 – Converge – Blood Moon: I
#2 – Every Time I Die – Radical
#1 – Thrice – Horizons/East
TOP 10 SONGS OF 2021
#10 – Nytt Land – ‘U-Gra’
#9 – Me And That Man Featuring Myrkur – ‘Angel Of Light’
#8 – Foo Fighters – ‘Love Dies Young’
#7 – Rolo Tomassi – ‘Cloaked’
#6 – Bodyjar – ‘Rain’
#5 – Shihad – ‘Feel The Fire’
#4 – Moss – ‘Sabre Teeth’
#3 – Lisa Cuthbert – ‘Treading’
#2 – Totally Unicorn – ‘Trust Fund Glee’
#1 – Chvrches Featuring Robert Smith – ‘How Not To Drown’
BEST MUSIC VIDEO OF 2021:
Every Time I Die – ‘Thing With Feathers’
FIRST GIG YOU HAVE LINED UP POST-COVID?
Fortunately in Adelaide we were still able to have numerous shows during this pandemic, so I have been attending a number of them. Undoubtedly, I have a few I am excited about attending as a fan/writer and on an incredible note also, playing with my band SwordfishTrombone. However, at this stage, I am honestly most excited for Idles in November.
WHAT BAND/S GOT YOU THROUGH THESE PAST TWO YEARS?
In no particular order Nick Cave (And The Bad Seeds), Chelsea Wolfe, Every Time I Die, Ulver and Thrice.
WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT YOU GOING INTO NEXT YEAR?
I encountered an immeasurable amount of change in 2021; as dramatic as this may sound, my identity has been practically turned upside down. I have found myself in a new career, a new “life status” and this has resulted in my “being” undergoing a pathway of disorientation. It’s a massive challenge that is set before me, but I am trying to find my focus – I have the amazingly good fortune of writing and performing music with great mates and artists, I am still very ocean orientated and loving surfing after all these years and I am finding inspiration and adoration in multiple environments which is more than I can ask for.
FAV NEW BAND/MUSICIAN DISCOVERED IN 2021
Theodor Bastard – this outfit is not especially “new”, but 2021 brought the group the backing of the esteemed record label Season Of Mist and thanks to that signing, I have been hypnotised by this brilliant band, as have many throughout the globe.
NEXT BIG AUSSIE ACT TO WATCH IN 2022?
The new album from Suldusk will captivate the world; especially my mind, heart and soul.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2022?
International bands touring in Australia is a notion that has myself and our nation are champing at the bit for. There is a lot of new music on the horizon that I am quite literally counting days until these records are released. SwordfishTrombone performing, writing, recording and hopefully touring. More time in the water, mostly surfing but swimming also. Getting to Dark Mofo festival again. Being a better uncle, brother, son, friend and person as well as seizing opportunities that are presented without too much hesitation.