Some of the best art usually comes from the artist’s sense of struggle and the need to be understood. Whether it’s economic based, relationship based or in the case of Ritt Momney, a grappling with their upbringing and where your future path needs to take you even while it may alienate you from friends and family. The Salt Lake City based artist, known by said family and friends as Jack Rutter, grew up as a devout Mormon and a couple years back started to question his faith. His upcoming debut album Her and All of My Friends is a direct result of the push and pull between his past, what his community wants from him and the burgeoning realization of where he feels he needs to be.
With Her and All of My Friends Rutter has crafted a very impressive collection of songs. The album bounds around genre very effortlessly, all the while sounding cohesive and like the work of a singular artist. It all kicks off with the melancholy “I”. The tracks showcases Rutter’s impressive voice, buoyed by a single piano track. The production is fittingly raw, helping to capture the discontentment in Rutter’s fragile melodies. The follow up “Lew’s Lullaby” swerves in a bit of an opposite direction. Double tracked vocals over chorus drenched guitar before the lilting drums kick in. While still keeping in line with the rawness of the opener, the song actually doesn’t feel like it wouldn’t be out of place on a Frank Ocean record. “Command V” feels like it seemingly addresses Rutter’s struggle with the church. Over a simply synth patch, Rutter sings “Am I on your side or just on mine, Are you still there in every way that you were”. Double downing on the simplicity of the opening song before the track swells over a trap-y beat, the track really showcases Rutter’s stream of consciousness style of lyrics. You can truly feel Rutter working out his feelings over the arpegiatted warble of the synth and it is a really fascinating glimpse into his process.
As the album continues so does Rutter’s internal battle. It’s hard to say whether the artist is trying to communicate with someone or something or if this is a struggle within his own head. It’s a disarming and intimate journey he takes the listener on. The album centrepiece “Pollution/Disclaimer” highlights this better than any of the other tracks on the album. Over the course of 4 and a half minutes, the song is a self contained journey, racing through genres to reach it’s pinnacle with a monologue over no music at all, that concludes with a interesting moment of self awareness when Rutter says, “I never promised that this one wouldn’t go on for too long, I don’t care if they listen, they either won’t or they will but I’ve been talking for two minutes and you’re listening still.”
Whether you feel like you want to continue on this journey with Ritt Momney or not, you will know before the opening song concludes it’s short running time, it is an exciting glimpse into the mind of a young artist, someone who is still working out his struggle and seemingly can only do this through these lush and rhapsodic pop songs. Some of the best music comes while an artist is the middle of a personal struggle. While some of Her and All of My Friends does feel overwhelmingly intimate, it’s Ritt Momney’s embrace of the struggle and the process he is undertaking to relive himself that makes this selection of songs so intriguing and it’s a journey worth accompanying him on.
review by Adam Fink
Fri Jul 19 — Salt Lake City, UT — Kilby Court
Sat Jul 20 — Salt Lake City, UT — Kilby Court
Fri Aug 2 — San Diego, CA — House of Blues
Sat Aug 3 — Los Angeles, CA — The Roxy Theatre
Sun Aug 4 — San Francisco, CA — Slim’s
Tue Aug 6 — Seattle, WA — The Crocodile Back Bar
Wed Aug 7 — Portland, OR — Lola’s Room