Premiere: Scott Ruth’s ‘Telephone’ EP Is Intimate Rock with a Heart of Gold

Scott Ruth © Taylor Mosby
Scott Ruth © Taylor Mosby
An intimate, moving blend of heartland rock and folk music, Scott Ruth’s Telephone EP goes out to anyone and everyone going through a rough patch or struggling to find their way.
for fans of Tom Petty, The Killers, Bruce Springsteen
Stream: ‘Telephone EP’ – Scott Ruth
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Good songwriting to me is when you can encapsulate a feeling in a song that someone else might not know how to assemble for themselves.

An intimate, moving blend of heartland rock and folk music, Scott Ruth’s Telephone EP goes out to anyone and everyone going through a rough patch or struggling to find their way. Like everyone from Bruce Springsteen to The Killers, the Los Angeles singer/songwriter weaves together a familiar Americana atmosphere of hardship and perseverance as through an ultimately hopeful, bright record that sees the light at the end of a long tunnel.

Telephone EP - Scott Ruth
Telephone EP – Scott Ruth

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Telephone EP, Scott Ruth’s first record since his 2016 debut album The Weight of It All. Out November 1, 2019 via Other People Records, Telephone was co-produced by engineer Andy Park (Death Cab For Cutie, Now Now, Pedro The Lion) and fellow singer/songwriter (and collaborator) Noah Gundersen, who also features on the EP’s arresting single “Take It Back.”

Considering himself a songwriter “above anything else,” Ruth’s music is buoyant, inviting, and unapologetically true to the self. The high-octane “Take It Back” single offers a musically energizing experience while its lyrics evoke nostalgic waves of past loves and long-gone trysts. A dynamic rock song that’s maybe not as happy as it sounds, this song speaks to the depth and balance Ruth strikes throughout his record:

Thought you made a promise to see this through
But you’re taking it back
Hunny, I don’t get it
What did I do to make you take it back
Why’re you taking it back
Now I’m looking for a reason
And hiding from the truth
Cause you told me while I was crawling back to you
“It’s alright”
Maybe someday I’ll get over it
Maybe this won’t hurt so bad
So then all the love you gave me
You can take it back

Of course, Telephone is far more than a one-trick pony. The opening title track is a moving power ballad-like expression of lovelorn longing built off a catchy, driving keyboard theme. The somber, downtempo “Regret” evokes the soft rock textures of Fleetwood Mac and Rod Stewart in an acoustic/electric heart-on-sleeve outpouring. Closer “Feel the Same” is a somber, cathartic moment of closure to strain and strife – a fitting Tom Petty-esque finale to a record radiating grief, as well as warmth.

Formerly of Los Angeles-based garage rock act The Futures League, Scott Ruth is a current touring member for (Dave) Keuning of The Killers, whom Atwood Magazine interviewed earlier this year. While Ruth’s last record was a far more folk-forward affair, Telephone EP finds Ruth re-emerging as a rocker, plain and simple. His new music evokes the sights and sounds of decades of earthy, gritty, bluesy guitars.

Ultimately, Telephone presents Scott Ruth with an edgy sonic attitude and a heart of gold.

Experience the full record via our exclusive stream, and peek inside Scott Ruth’s Telephone EP with Atwood Magazine as the artist goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of his latest release! Telephone is out everywhere November 1, 2019 via Other People Records.

Stream: ‘Telephone EP’ – Scott Ruth
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:: Inside Telephone EP ::

Telephone EP - Scott Ruth

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Telephone is just a simple song about missing someone. I realized a had never really written a love song before, so this was my attempt. I wrote it as soon as I came home from being overseas while I was having trouble communicating with my significant other, due to different timezones and shitty cell service. I’m nowhere near jaded when it comes to touring and I still find so much joy and fulfillment through taking my music all over the world, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. Trying to communicate with the person you love while consistently on the move can be difficult. This song is about that feeling.

Take It Back (ft. Noah Gundersen)

One of the ways you know a song has real potential is when you can’t get it out of your own head. This song is just that. I must’ve had the main guitar melodies bouncing around in my head for months before I actually sat down to write the song. I wanted to write a catchy, feel-good, Tom Petty-esque tune that would be fun to take to the stage. I think I accomplished what I was going for. The lyrics are definitely sad if you read into what I’m saying, but I’m a fan of that kind of juxtaposition of combining sad or reflective lyrics with something feel-good or happy sounding. I think it works really well.
When Noah and I got in studio to record the song, the initial plan wasn’t to have him sing on it as much as he did. He usually tries to layer some vocal harmonies on the songs where they fit, but this song just felt good to let him run with some more background vocals wherever it felt right. I also sang the entire lead vocal while FaceTiming my friend Jake. That’s who’s voice you hear at the end of the song. It’s still one of my favorite memories of being in studio so far. 


Regret is an older song, but to this day one of my favorite songs I’ve written, and one of the only constants in the setlist every night. We started to put together this EP as kind of a showcase of my newer sound, because the music I had released thus far had been pretty stripped back and less band oriented. I wanted a collection of songs that could stand on their own and represent my sound a little better, but it didn’t feel right to completely abandon the singer/songwriter stuff because I still do a majority of the touring solo. So we decided to re-master this song and add it to the pot. I think it rounds out the EP and does it’s job of showing people I’m not a one trick pony.

Midnight in NM

I’ve had this one sitting around for a little bit. I didn’t know what I was going to do with it, I think I figured it’d go on my next record, but when I sent it to Noah as a potential song to record for the EP, he responded with, “This is the one. No question”. I respect his opinion a lot as a producer and artist, so it didn’t take much convincing on his end. Sean Lane, who plays drums for Pedro The Lion, played on the EP and I really like what we accomplished with the drums on this song. He found a really good pocket a gave the song a feel that my demo didn’t have. Also, Noah’s sister Abby sang all the background vocals. She has one of my favorite voices out there and it’s still a joy to hear her voice coming through the speakers when I listen to it.
The lyrics to this one are very literal. I wrote it about a time when I was driving through the middle of New Mexico overnight and got a text from a person I didn’t want to.

Feel the Same

This is probably the most personal of them all. I wrote it about somebody very close to me who was going through a difficult time and it was really hard to watch. I still don’t exactly know why I got the urge to write about them, but if I had to pinpoint it, I think it was to let them know that I had been through something similar once before and that they weren’t alone in what they were feeling. I really wanted to get the lyrics right on this one, so I asked my friend Landon Jacobs, who sings in Sir Sly, and my friend Jake Berry, who I’ve done a lot of writing with, to help me finish them. I’m really happy with how this one turned out.
Good songwriting to me is when you can encapsulate a feeling in a song that someone else might not know how to assemble for themselves. When a song I write seems to have that effect, I feel accomplished in what I set out to do. I think we got pretty close to that here.

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:: stream/purchase Scott Ruth here ::

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Telephone EP - Scott Ruth

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:: Scott Ruth Tour Dates ::

* w/ Noah Gundersen
10/28 Birmingham, AL @ Saturn *
10/30 Houston, TX @ Heights *
11/01 Austin, TX @ Antone’s *
11/02 Dallas, TX @ Kessler *
11/03 Waco, TX @ Common Ground *
11/06 Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom *
11/07 Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram *
11/08 San Luis Obisqo, CA @ The Siren *
11/09 San Francisco, CA @ Independent *
11/11 Bend, OR @ Volcanic *
11/12 Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom *
11/15 Vancouver, BC @ Hollywood Theatre *
11/16 Seattle, WA @ Showbox *

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