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Love Letter To A Record: Ritt Momney On Corinne Bailey Rae’s ‘Put Your Records On’

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.

In this Love Letter To A Record series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Ritt Momney – Corrine Bailey Rae’s ‘Put Your Records On’

Nostalgia’s always gonna be there, in some form, for anything you leave behind. Good or bad, we tend to miss things. I think we’re often pressured to push through nostalgia, to “keep moving forward,” but recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the potential we could be missing out on if we ignore the things we loved about the past. If you give the past a closer look, a fonder look, you’ll likely notice something that transcends the stages of your life. You can remember why you loved something and love it again, for different reasons or for the same. Art, done well, tends to bring about this realization. And ‘Put Your Records On’ is done really, really well.

In 2006, I was 6 years old. I didn’t know there was such thing as a music ‘industry.’ I hadn’t yet commodified my music taste as a way to impress people. I hadn’t started considering myself ‘an indie kid’ and letting that dictate what I liked and what I didn’t. I hadn’t yet disillusioned myself to believe that popular songs were bad because they were popular. I heard something good, and I liked it. How insane is that?

Most music I heard when I was 6 or 7, I heard in the car. I listened to whatever my mom played, and loved almost all of it. But there was one song that really felt like sunshine and freshly cut grass and that was ‘Put Your Records On’ by Corinne Bailey Rae. My mom would play it on the way to soccer practice or to Grandpa and Grandma’s house. The chorus would come and everyone in the car would sing. I didn’t understand ANYTHING about the song (or music at all), I just enjoyed it. It was beautiful.

Since the years I was listening to it on the radio in the back of a minivan, I drifted away from the song and pop music in general. Anything on the radio was “basic.” If I played a song in the car and people knew it well enough to sing along, I changed it. Music was no longer about how it made me feel as much as it was about how it made others feel about me. Anything in the vein of Put Your Records On was contradictory to the “sophisticated music consumer” image I was trying to create for myself.

I believe this mindset (that I’ve since largely escaped) completely ignores the true purpose of music: to make you feel. I heard Put Your Records On again more recently and felt something I hadn’t let a pop song make me feel in a long time. Happy. Part of me immediately wanted to analyze the song, to find some technically abstract chord within it so I could justify my love for it to my musical ego. But I didn’t, I just felt it. And it was really nice.

The way this cover has propelled my career has been crazy. That Corinne and her co-writers created a song that can be as well-received in 2020 as it was in the late 2000s is a huge artistic accomplishment. I added some 808 kicks and 16th-note high hats, but that is not why the cover is doing well. It’s doing well because it’s a cover of one of the greatest pop songs of all time.

Ritt Momney is the solo project of 20 year-old Salt Lake City native, Jack Rutter, which began as an indie rock band and became a personal outlet for Jack after his bandmates left on Mormon missions and his girlfriend left for college.

Ritt’s reimagined version of Corinne Bailey Rae’s 2006 track is exploding globally with over 97 million streams worldwide.

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