Photo credit: Nick Fancher. Photo from

Labels are exhausting. What do you call a band that doesn’t crack jokes with the audience or swivel their hips? Normcore? Nu shoegaze? Geez. Why don’t we just stick with “actual musicians”? Folks who let their music speak for itself and remain unconcerned when the audience members all start checking their news feeds. Such is Marriages. The trio just released their first full-length album, “Salome”, ushering in a buoyant, ambitious era for the group; the three have a knack for pervasive, slow-burning rock compositions, always tinged with wrenching, unsettling themes.

“The EP was almost like a stream-of-conscious thing that we did,” said Greg Burns, the unit’s bassist. “We actually wrote the entire thing from start to end, without any pauses.”

Unfortunately, the process for recording the full-length was not so fortuitous. It spanned a year and half and in that period, the two original members apparently faced their share of personal demons and interpersonal hardships, lending a fiery honesty to their dissonant, intricate sound.

“It was like a cursed record or something. It was really hard to nail down,” recalled Burns.

Like the record, their live performance is understated. They are an act that doesn’t rely on flash and charisma. They climb into vulnerable, stirring places in their songwriting, opening their wounds on stage for all to see. It’s always palpable, and frankly mesmerizing.

“We generally like to ride the tension between things that are hopefully beautiful, but also awkward or uncomfortable,” said Burns.

The album first erupts with “The Liar,” a stew of Burns’ growling bass lines, some synth flourishes and singer Emma Ruth Rundle’s signature soaring vocals, leading the listener down the rabbit hole. Most evident is the prominence of the vocals on the album. On the EP, the Rundle’s quaking lyrics weren’t always decipherable. They blended into the mix, punctuating choruses. On the new record, her vocals are more classically mixed, clearer and more vibrant throughout. Perhaps that can be read as a commercial choice, but make no mistake, this album cuts its own path into the wilderness.

“We had Andrew Clinico, our full-time drummer, join the band for the second record. And he’s a really good guitar player, as well as drummer and very musical, so his voice is very present,” said Burns.

True enough, the drumming is far more driven and diverse in comparison to the EP. On “Southern Eyre” for example, Clinico’s performance is as exacting as it is intricate, weaving an unnerving atmosphere for Rundle to blend her vocals. Also evident on the album is a clear, distorted abandon. The trio craft crescendos as they have never before, big breakdowns like the chorus of the title track, both seductive and ominous.

The members of Marriages are honing their ability to slowly build songs that paint vivid panoramas of growth and anguish. The dark exploration is poignant and rewarding. It’s always reassuring to see artists push themselves, musically as well as thematically. Call what they do anything you like, as long as you listen.

About The Author


Scott Baumgarter is a Blast correspondent

7 Responses

  1. India

    Mai sa fie getieult,cinslut este ca tu care esti un turnator nenorocit la securitate sa faci pe moralistul?Doar toata lume stie ca esti pe lista de colaboratori ai securitatii si ca obti venituri dintr-o asemenea meserie (am sa aduc dovezi atunci cat vine momentul).Ce sa mai spun de faptul ca scrii la comanda impotriva celor care-i supara pe mai “marii zilei”.


    So this icing is basically a Italian Meringue Buttercream w/o the butter. FYI – if the sugar isn't really HOT, you aren't cooking/sanitizing the eggs and could be feeding people salmonella poisoning. The correct temperature for this particular application would be soft ball stage for your sugar (~235 degrees F).

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    40 år er da egentlig ret flot for en elektrisk symaskine.. Mon ikke der ligger en masse af den slags spoler rundt omkring i sykasserne ude i blogland. Jeg synes jeg kan huske at have set dem i en gammel sykasse jeg har stående i Sverige.. Skal nok kigge efter det næste gang. Hvis de er der må du få dem.Hav en dejlig dag Lone og klem til dig.

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    Less is indeed more. Science has shown that excessive consumption is killing our planet, our economy, our society, our health, our personal finances and, just as an added bonus, often making us unhappier for it. I just hope that minimalists such as yourself can build up a critical mass before it is too late… Keep up the good work

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    bel exemple d’aveuglement ! magnifique… les manifs monstres de 2009, ça devait sûrement être l’Å“uvre de la « propagande » occidentale hein ? jurassien ou quand l’antiaméricanisme primaire mène à l’absence totale de réflexion.


    Hi Tess! THANK YOU SO MUCH for your kind comment! That was one of the nicest things I’ve ever had someone say to me and I really appreciate you taking the time to do this. I absolutely love my job and I feel blessed to be giving Beth and William these beautiful memories. Their little girl is so precious and I adored working with all three of them! ENJOY these keepsakes! xo ~Alisha


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