By Elaina Knight
Ritt Momney, the once indie band now turned solo project, has taken the underground pop world by storm. With over 3 million monthly listeners on Spotify, Ritt Momney is nothing short of a local Utah celebrity. Ritt’s leading and sole member, Jack Rutter, has used music to explore the complexities of growing up and coping with the loneliness and loss that accompanies adulthood. After seeing most of his friends off on LDS missions and saying goodbye to his girlfriend as she went to college, Jack used Ritt Momney as a tool to come to terms with his new reality. In his debut album, Her and All of My Friends, Jack dives deep into the grieving and grappling process he experienced as the people who were once so involved in his life faded away.
The album feels impossible to describe. Its mix of several different genres creates a dynamic environment for the listener. Alongside its unique sound, the album contains a prologue, interlude, and epilogue that set the tone for the album. The prologue entitled “I” begins with a gentle piano track followed by Jack’s harrowing lyrics: words that become the perfect introduction to the struggle he faced while writing this album. Jack ends the song asking why “her and all my friends left” as the piano fades.
The album continues as Jack explores the process of losing love, friends, and faith with jazzy organ, electro-pop, and ukulele tracks before coming to a halt at the interlude, “II.” A vamped guitar and keys track are what make up the album’s intermission number, a track that gives its audience time to process the album’s heaviness. At the end of the track, the album dives right back into the depths of Rutter’s deepest pains and struggles. The music becomes more chaotic and experimental in the second half of Her and All of My Friends, relying on abundant lyrics, vocal layering, and reverb to create a new listening experience. As the album comes to a close, “III’, the epilogue, shows Jack coming to accept the blows he has taken. He thanks his friends and girlfriend for staying, leaving, and inspiring his songs.
Out of all of the beautiful songs that Her and All of My Friends feature, my favorite track has to be “(If) The Book Doesn’t Sell.” While this song is likely the most controversial on the whole album, I find myself in awe of the artistry required to create this track. Musically simple, the lyrics are a raw look into letting go of faith and growing up. This song almost resembles slam poetry in its structure and presentation. With an almost unchanging melody, Jack’s vocals are emphasized with abundant amounts of reverb and autotune. It is the perfect ending to an album that is so emotional and heavy. “(If) The Book Doesn’t Sell” is a stand-out because it is markedly different from the rest of the album. Some honorable mentions that conform more to Ritt’s typical sound and song content include, “Lew’s Lullaby,” “Phoebe,” and “On Love (An Alternative Response to Almitra’s Request).”
While this album is practically perfect to me, the one thing that I wish would have been executed differently is the vocal and backtrack balance. While it is executed almost flawlessly throughout the album, there are occasions where Ritt’s powerful lyrics get swallowed up by the track. In the future, I would love to see Ritt allowing his vocals and lyrics to speak for themselves rather than drowning them out with too much guitar or synth. If you struggle to understand lyrics when listening to music, I would definitely recommend looking at the lyrics while listening to this album to fully capture what Ritt Momney has to share with the world.
Overall this album is a gem. Despite this being Ritt’s debut album, it highlights Jack Rutter’s vocal skill and writing chops extremely well. If you are looking for a vibey album to listen to this summer, Her and All of My Friends is it.
Make sure to follow Ritt Momney on Instagram for updates on their music and tour dates. You can listen to “(If) The Book Doesn’t Sell” below!