Los Angeles based songwriter Scott Ruth‘s latest EP, Telephone, is reflective and contemplative collection of songs that pack an emotional punch. Opener “Telephone” is filled with melodic yearning, as Ruth sings “If I had a telephone, I’d call you every night, to let you know you haven’t left my mind”. Built off a keyboard and acoustic guitar melodies, there’s an undeniable warmth to the simple but effective track.
The EP was produced by Noah Gundersen, and there are clear similarities in the two artists’ songwriting styles, making Gundersen a perfect collaborator for Ruth. Gundersen also joins Ruth on vocals for the heartland rock of “Take it Back”, an aching break-up track that recalls Springsteen and Petty in its guitar rhythm swing and direct lyrics (“All the love you gave me, you can take it back”).
Longing and regret appear to be central themes on the songs here, the latter clearly obvious on “Regret”. The rich, lush arrangements for the song is given an 80’s vibe by the bubbly counter-melody. Maybe this extra pep comes from Ruth not being the victim in this track; “I know I left you with a mountain of regret”. Things return to mellow and melancholy on “Midnight in NM”, and the vulnerable “Feel the Same”, which closes things out with a slightly more uptempo rock sound.
Scott Ruth is grasping for the heart-on-your-sleeve Americana rock sound that has been pervasive on classic rock radio for years. He shows an incredible knack for thoughtful lyrics matched with moving acoustic rock. While his rockers still aren’t at stadium-level yet, it took his producer Gundersen a number of albums before he achieved that on “The Sound”, and he’s already writing better songs than 90% of his peers at this stage of his career.
Take a listen to the EP below and hear for yourself: