Getting Ready for “Some Emotional Shit”: Catching Up with Ritt Momney

Ritt Momney © Adam Alonzo
Ritt Momney © Adam Alonzo
Atwood Magazine speaks with Ritt Momney (aka Jack Rutter), whose career took an unexpected turn after unique circumstances on TikTok landed him on the roster of Disruptor / Columbia Records.
edited by Mitch Mosk
Stream: “Put Your Records On” – Ritt Momney




I hope the song gets them ready for some emotional shit.

Nearly a year and a half ago, Jack Rutter of Ritt Momney outlined the humble placidity of “accepting an ‘okay’ ending” in an interview with Atwood Magazine following the release of his stunning debut record, Her and All of My Friends. What Rutter could not have predicted was the new beginning poised to arrive not too far down the road, in the midst of otherwise devastating global circumstances.

Ritt Momney - Her And All Of My Friends
Her and All of My Friends – Ritt Momney

When an impending tour opening for indie artist Dayglow became the latest casualty in a devastating series of COVID-related event cancellations, Rutter turned to the same quarantine coping mechanisms as the rest of us: Anything that might catalyze an artificial spark of joy or semblance of normalcy.

For the multitalented musician, that came in the form of a lighthearted cover of Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On,” released on a whim.

The cover was a stark departure from previous Ritt Momney works, which touch on heavier themes of loss, loneliness, and religion, while enduring a unique twist of Rutter’s alluring self-production and a delightful marriage between acoustic and heavily produced instrumentation.

In an unmistakable demonstration of just how badly Gen Z needed to ‘let their hair down’ amidst a global lockdown, the track was quickly picked up by users of the app TikTok (specifically the makeup community) to soundtrack spectacular artistic transformations. This quickly led to the viral status of the sound and hordes of new listeners – not to mention the garnered attention of the world’s most prominent record labels.

Ritt Momney © Adam Alonzo
Ritt Momney © Adam Alonzo

I’m just more able in general (now), and that’s really exciting. I don’t really have to worry about a good song being undermined by technical inexperience.

The Ritt Momney project soon found its rightful home on the roster of Disruptor / Columbia Records, promising a future of abundance in a time when progress seemed almost unattainable.

Forging ahead, Ritt Momney recently released his first single of 2021 and the follow-up to “Put Your Records On” – the plaintive and sweepingly visceral “Not Around.” Co-written and co-produced with Dayglow and featuring a guitar solo by Palehound’s Ellen Kempner, “Not Around” is a poignant track with an edge. The song dwells in haunting depths, ultimately rising up to roar with an achingly evocative upheaval of tense, raw, pent-up energy. It’s a fantastic way to explode into a new year, and a welcome return.

I picked you up from the airport
Your smile didn’t feel the same
Asked you a question then watched as
You shot it down like a plane
And I’m not being too dramatic
I’m the one who bought your flight
I knew I shouldn’t have told you
How much I make a week
And we both think that it’s stupid
That they pay me just to sing
And I can sing for you for free
But it’s just never quite as special
As the first time I sang you
‘First Day of My Life’
We both thought Bright Eyes was old news
But the song still made you smile
And I feel like it’s been a while
Since your light shone on my account
But when you’re not around
I turn into something
I’m not lost or found
I’m neither, I’m nothing
When you’re not around
There’s not much to say
Hear me yelling out loud
My love went away hear me shout

Atwood Magazine recently reconnected with Jack Rutter for a personal take on the chaos of the past year, his new and upcoming music, and what his label signing milestone means for the future of Ritt Momney. From Rutter’s perspective, his latest art is an evolution of the music he introduced us to back in 2019: A maturation in the same stylistic vein. “I hope the song gets [listeners] ready for some emotional shit,” he says of his newest material.

What more could an audience ask for? Ritt Momney’s second single of 2021, “Set the Table” featuring Saddest Factory Records-signed Claud, is set to release Friday, April 9.

— —




Ritt Momney © Adam Alonzo
Ritt Momney © Adam Alonzo

CATCHING UP WITH RITT MOMNEY

Not Around - Ritt Momney © Kentaro Okawara

Atwood Magazine: It’s great to reconnect with you, Jack! What does signing with Disruptor/Columbia Records mean for your future as an artist and in terms of future releases?

Ritt Momney: I’m trying to make sure it doesn’t mean much creatively… I want to keep making exactly what I want to make and let them do their thing on the business end. So far so good!!

Of all the songs to choose to cover, why “Put Your Records On”? How do you think the track aligns with your discography and your style as an artist?

Ritt Momney: I’ve always seen that song as the epitome of a happy, hopeful song. I covered it right after COVID hit the U.S. hard, because I didn’t think I’d be able to keep working on sad music when everything was already so sad. It’s definitely a departure from the rest of my discography, past and future.

It's been over a year since we first spoke about your debut album. How has your relationship with that record and its songs changed since its release?

Ritt Momney: It honestly hasn’t changed much. That album is still really nice to listen back to when I want to remember how I felt at the time.

On social media, it appears you’ve made a special effort to plug Corinne Bailey Rae’s original, which is truly commendable - do you think artists who cover other artist’s songs owe them that kind of consideration as well?

Ritt Momney: Absolutely… I think songwriting is undervalued too often. The fact that “Put Your Records On” can be popular both in the 2000’s and in 2020 is just a testament to how incredibly written it is.

Were you an avid TikTok-er yourself at the time of your song blowing up?

Ritt Momney: LMAO, I posted my first TikTok as the song was kind of starting to blow up. I posted my second one a few days ago.

When did you start to realize the magnitude of your audio being used on the platform?

Ritt Momney: It all happened really quickly, I can’t remember any exact moment. But the couple days where I was on the phone with like 10 different labels were pretty surreal.

Have you traced it back to the very first person that used the song in their video?

Ritt Momney: @Skiian I owe you my career!!!

@skiian

10 seconds VS 2 hours #ActionLines #RockinCollege #ArtLessons #WhatsYourPower #makeup #mua #fyp #foryou #glam

♬ Put Your Records On – Ritt Momney

So you now have a record deal and the world’s attention - what’s next out of Ritt Momney?

Ritt Momney: An album, hopefully [this] year!

Your new music is a very long time in the making. Can you share a little about the story behind it, and how you feel your artistry has developed beyond Her and All of My Friends?

Ritt Momney: I think that throughout the process of making HAAOMF I was really still learning how to produce and play instruments well and all that technical stuff. Like if I showed you a chronological list of the songs on that album regarding when I made them, it would probably make a lot of sense in terms of like the mixing and production and all that. I think that now, technically, I’m just more able in general. And that’s really exciting. I don’t really have to worry about a good song being undermined by technical inexperience.

Ritt Momney © Adam Alonzo
Ritt Momney © Adam Alonzo

“Not Around” is your first single in well over a year's time. Why mark your return with this song in particularly?

Ritt Momney: I think it’s just a pretty good introduction to what my newer stuff is gonna sound like. I wanted to sort of send the message that the “Put Your Records On” era was going to be more or less a one-off, and I think this song was a pretty distinct departure from that sound.

What was your vision going into “Not Around,” and did that change over time?

Ritt Momney: Well Sloan (Dayglow) was a big part of coming up with the vision. I brought him the verse chord progression and the melody and he had plenty of super sick ideas to build on top of that. I had been kind of stuck on it and he really helped to transform it from an idea into a song.

How did you end up connecting with Sloan Struble and Ellen Kempner, and how do you feel they left their marks on the song?

Ritt Momney: Well I was gonna tour with Dayglow before COVID cancelled it two shows in. Sloan and I actually became pretty close friends over like the two days that we were hanging out together in Chicago. He invited me to his place in Austin last summer and we worked on this and a couple other songs. It was such a good time. He really did contribute a ton to this song in both the writing and production. As for Ellen, Palehound has just been one of my favorite projects for a while now. I reached out and luckily they were down to work. They did a fucking killer guitar solo and their drummer killed it as well.

Ritt Momney © Adam Alonzo
Ritt Momney © Adam Alonzo

“Not Around” is emphatically memorable with its explosive ending. What inspired this steady rise up to a breaking point, and how did you go about fostering this sensation via music?

Ritt Momney: It was actually more or less Sloan’s idea. I had written the first verse sort of describing a car ride with a significant other who seemed a little off or uninterested. The tension sort of continues building throughout the drive until the transition into ¾, where your feelings sort of shift into “well, when they’re not around I feel way shittier than I do right now.” Sloan had the idea that the car should crash, so that’s what’s happening there.

I understand “Not Around” is also the introductory single off your upcoming album, which is still in the works. Can you tell us a little about the sounds and concepts that have gone into this record so far?

Ritt Momney: I like to think of it as sort of a maturation of the HAAOMF sound. In the same vein, stylistically, but just a little more evolved I guess.

As a lyrically forward artist, do you have any favorite lines from “Not Around”?

Ritt Momney: I think the continuous metaphor of the plane right at the beginning of the song is pretty cool.

I picked you up from the airport
Your smile didn’t feel the same
Asked you a question then watched as
You shot it down like a plane
And I’m not being too dramatic
I’m the one who bought your flight
I knew I shouldn’t have told you
How much I make a week
And we both think that it’s stupid
That they pay me just to sing
And I can sing for you for free
But it’s just never quite as special

What do you hope listeners take away from “Not Around,” and what is keeping you excited about your own music to come?

Ritt Momney: I hope the song gets them ready for some emotional shit.

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:: stream/purchase “Not Around” here ::



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Not Around - Ritt Momney © Kentaro Okawara

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📸 © Adam Alonzo


:: Stream Ritt Momney ::

Ritt Momney’s Witty, Indie Masterpiece “On Love (An Alternative Response to Almitra’s Request)”

:: TODAY'S SONG ::

Ritt Momney’s Triumphant Debut ‘Her and All of My Friends’

:: ALBUM REVIEW ::

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