Bliss from Bullshit: A Day in the Lonely Life of Scott Rudd

Music should make us feel something. We listen in order to have our toes wiggle and to have goose-bumps roll across our bodies, to validate our existence or escape from it. Singer-songwriter Scott Rudd’s The Lonely Life EP explores the emotional complexities of our everyday realities through simple means – an unrefined guitar, drums, choice keys and strings, and ghostlike harmonies. He combines these elements to communicate his emotions in both the during and the after of various relationships. This musical spectrum of emotion examines heartbreak with acute self-awareness, and spans from states of angst to acceptance and conviction.

Scott Rudd – Bullshit Love by scottruddmusic

Rudd demonstrates this dichotomy on the first two songs of the album. On the title track, he sings, “It’s gonna be a lonely life” with such aplomb that it seems he is not just ready, but excited to be alone. The conclusive, positive and sweeping melody asserts his confidence and suggests that he’s been there before. Then, on “Bullshit Love,” he more-or-less bangs his guitar as he vents, “swimmin’ in oceans of bullshit love, and why won’t you call.” The song lasts only 1:39, and near the end, the percussion escalates into riotous thuds that insinuate someone slamming their head against a wall. It’s easy to see how each song might have begun as an emotional sketch like this, before eventually developing into a more mature portrait, like “Lonely Life.”

Mirroring said emotional range, both Rudd’s guitar and his voice can seem at times incredibly impassioned, or wise, calm and understanding. You can feel the metal of his guitar strings rattle and snap taught in your chest, and other times the chords settle inside you like a red sun falling below the horizon. His voice howls out a quivering emotional high wire, or croons with such soft confidence that you have to reach out to grab his words before they’re gone. At different times his voice reminds me of Gregory Alan Isakov, Damien Rice, Radical Face, or even Bon Iver.

Rudd’s dispatch revolves around the way the music feels and sounds. This isn’t him airing out dirty laundry, on the contrary, his songs resist particulars, and as a result his music will elicit reactions unique to each individual’s disposition. When I sit down to really listen to Rudd’s music, I often find myself scrambling to my stash of industrial sized boxes of Kleenexes. His style affects me with such poignancy because it revolves around a principle what can never be faked: honesty. Rudd comes across as being unafraid of what he’s creating; he’s trying to get to the heart of things.

At first, the finale, “Come and Go,” feels appropriately conclusive. It’s self-referential (“open the door, let the soul in, calling the face, and the places I’ve been”), in a way that most of the album isn’t. He finds himself lying down, and finally reflecting that the “feelings are gone.” Yet after listening through again, I realized that The Lonely Life EP could never actually end. Despite apparent similarities across the EP, the music continually presents further layers and nuances as old observations deteriorate and dissolve, giving my Rudd experience a distinctly organic feel. The feelings may be gone for the moment, but they will return again. Now there’s comfort in that.

 

ANOTHER LOVER from evavazquezdereoyo on Vimeo.

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