Alcest and Emma Ruth Rundle at Highline Ballroom

French shoegazing band Alcest arrived at the Highline Ballroom in NYC with opening act, California based folk singer-songwriter Emma Ruth Rundle. Alcest is known for accurately using distortion, feedback and distorted vocals to form a distinct sound, one not often heard. While the sole description of the music might sound odd, when actually listening to it, one can sink into a zone of full calmness. An odd effect when considering the characteristics of the music itself. Truly it is this that makes Alcest so appealing, a band who can easily transcend into a mellow, soothing sound without losing it’s heavy distorted riffs.

Alcest is indeed a unique pearl in a bucket of sand and with such a unique take on music, there seemed to be no better opening act than Emma Ruth Rundle. The California native is no rookie to the music scene either, forming a part of musical groups like Red Sparowes, Marriages, and Nocturnes. Her debut solo album Some Heavy Ocean was released on May 20th of last year. Her style is really stripped down, from her vocals to her musical arrangement.

emmaruthrundle6Perhaps folk rock would not be the quickest suggestion for an opening act, but it is correct to say her soft sound was a great calming ground for Alcest and their heavier alternative metal sound. Alcest of course was the main act of the night and was awaited with much anticipation. The band began their career in 2000 originally as a 4-piece band and now currently composed of Neige (lead vocals), Winterhalter (drums), and live members Zero (guitar) and Indria (bass). Alcest’s sound is so enchanting for a reason– it is based entirely on a concept, an island lead singer Neige calls “Fairy Land.” It connects to a experiences he lived through as a child and intends on creating the bands sound as a real interpretation of what he remembers this island being. When considering this, it only makes the music and entire zen zone you enter all the more special. A very personal and special experience of his life can be explored by simply listening to their music. The band has released four albums to date, all of which can introduce you into this wonderful world. Alcest played many of their best songs such as “Summer Glory”, “Là où naissent les couleurs nouvelles” and perhaps their most memorable “Autre temps” as a special encore.

If ever given the chance, Alcest is a must see band for anybody to experience their mystic live performance. Not to mention they are truly one of few to bring a different perspective, concept and all around approach to the genre of metal. As mentioned before, a special musical act worthy of having all the support they can receive from the music scene.

Emma Ruth Rundle:

Alcest:alcest13 alcest2 alcest4 alcest5 alcest6 alcest11alcest14 alcest16 alcest17 alcest19 alcest22 alcest28 alcest29

Darek Solarski
Darek Solarski
Darek Solarski comes from a family of artist's. He learned photography in his father's old-fashioned darkroom and later studied art in Cracow, Poland. A self-taught guitarist, he fell under the spell of electric guitar after hearing opening riffs of Metallica's Orion. A guitar aficionado, he enjoys equally trash riffs, wah wah pedals and everything in between. Professionally, he works as an independent graphic designer, illustrator and photographer. Darek is currently developing a story book based around phenomenon of pareidolia and slowly but steadily continues to write music for his concept album 'Narcissistic Trilogy'. Darek has also been an in-house photographer at NY's famous Carlton Arms Hotel documenting work of many artists since 2004. Concert photography is an unusual place where his passion for art and music meet. Darek lives in Brooklyn, he loves vegan food, meditation, and running and playing soccer with his two kids.