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Album Review: Sunny Boy by Ritt Momney

Ritt Momney’s subsequent product has proven that he has more than enough talent to cook up another earworm without breaking a sweat.

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By Davis Blount

In 2022, there is a near infinite amount of music available to listeners looking for their new favorite group. With platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Soundcloud lowering the barrier to entry between artists and listeners, more artists are able to get their music out into the world without the meddling of record labels and studio executives. This, however, can create a unique problem for up-and-coming artists: with thousands of artists competing for the same potential audience, how can any one song ever hope to break through? In the case of Ritt Momney, the answer to that question came from an unlikely source: TikTok. 

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Jack Rutter, better known by his stage name of Ritt Momney, released a cover of Corrine Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On” in 2020, which was quickly picked up and distributed as a TikTok audio sample. The artist’s unique take on a now-classic hit, paired with its hopeful message in a deeply depressing time, struck a chord with the internet and was an inescapable soundbite for months. The popularity was no flash in the pan: at time of writing, Ritt Momney’s cover has racked up a whopping 485 MILLION streams on Spotify and brought more than 3 million monthly listeners to his Spotify profile. Not bad for a pandemic project!

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With intergalactic success under his belt, Ritt Momney returned with his second full length album, Sunny Boy in 2021. Still largely self-produced and with Rutter in full creative control, the artist’s sophomore effort sees more collaboration than the debut album Her and All of My Friends. The collaboration is often used to great effect, most notably in a song featuring Claud, a non-local indie wunderkind whose music is worth a listen. Sunny Boy’s production covers a wide range of genres and moods, from vibey synths with atmospheric tones to fuzzed-out guitar riffs that drive the album’s faster-paced songs. Ritt Momney’s signature falsetto is often layered on top of itself, creating haunting harmonies and a sense of calm in the mind of the listeners. Momney flexes his range over the course of the album, bouncing between shimmering melodies and distorted breakdowns from song to song. The range does not come at the expense of a cohesive piece of work. Quite the opposite: despite its disparate parts, Sunny Boy manages to present a complete artistic statement without giving listeners sonic whiplash. 

The most enjoyable piece of the album comes in Ritt Momney’s song “Set the Table,” featuring Claud. Strumming guitars drive the pace as Momney bares his soul at an elevated tempo. “Set the Table” details the infuriating attempts we all experience when trying to smooth things over before self-sabotage rears its ugly head and everyone involved is back at square one. This cycle is beautifully described as such:

And one of these nights we can sit down and eat
I’ll pour you a glass of wine if that’s your cup of tea
Make your house on fire feel a little more like a home,
People forget what they put you through 

And every time we set the table, I flip it over
And if you’re willing and you’re able, let’s start it over.

Knowing ourselves and our tendencies can be half the battle when navigating interpersonal relationships. For Ritt Momney, not flipping tables is the other crucial step. 

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While Sunny Boy shows how well Ritt Momney has mastered his signature sound, one hopes that future efforts will push the envelope and see him explore new methods of songwriting and production, perhaps even a more stripped-down version of new songs. The key to unlocking even more potential may come in teaming up with fellow artists who can bring their own flavor of songwriting and production to Ritt Momney’s music. While Her and All of My Friends was a true bedroom pop masterpiece, Sunny Boy shows an artists on the rise, growing as a result of allowing other points of view into the creation process. With more touring and networking under his belt, it is hard to imagine that Ritt Momney’s third effort won’t be even better than the first two. 

It is hard to imagine Ritt Momney finding another song that hits the same level of unbelievable success as his cover of “Put Your Records On.” In such a crowded market, lightning rarely strikes twice. That said, Momney’s subsequent product has proven that he has more than enough talent to cook up another earworm without breaking a sweat. If anyone can conquer TikTok twice, it may just be him.

Make sure to follow Ritt Momney on Instagram @rittmomney! You can listen to “Set the Table” below!

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