Summary of “Everything Ruth Rundle Sings Sounds Like a Warning” by Hanif Abdurraqib

In “Everything Ruth Rundle Sings Sounds Like a Warning,” published in the New York Times Magazine’s March 2021 issue, writer Hanif Abdurraqib describes how a song Rundle released in late 2021 encapsulated the feelings he was experiencing at the time. The writer purchased blackout curtains for his bedroom to reinforce the cavernous, uncertain feeling of 2021. Traveling to Louisville, Ky. at the request of a friend years ago allowed him to experience the patiently haunting and architecture rattling sound of Emma Ruth Rundle. Rundle’s collaborative album with the band Thou, “May Our Chambers Be Full,” was released in October 2021 and felt to the writer to be a perfect album to lose himself in during the dark uncertainty the world was facing at that time. One song from the album in particular, “The Valley,” expressed the writer’s feeling that he wanted to take the place of someone in a mental place to be able to handle the pandemic. Quickly turning from its opening, the song moves into a stark reminder at the end that things are severe and dark, highlighted by the interplay of voices between Rundle and Bryan Funck of Thou. The last song on an already immersive album, “The Valley” left the writer feeling as though he was trapped in an escapeless room, but with a sense that the lack of escape was its very appeal.

Works Cited

Abdurraqib, Hanif. “Everything Ruth Rundle Sings Sounds Like a Warning” 19 Songs that Matter Right Now. New York Times Magazine. March 2021. Accessed on September 9, 2021.

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