Once you get past their name and acknowledge their adolescence, indie rock band Ritt Momney will blow your mind if you let them. A solo project of 19-year-old Jack Rutter, and revitalized as a result of heartbreak and Mormon mission woes, the group now consists of Rutter and three equally talented bandmates: Jonas Torgersen, Noah Hamula and Sam Olson.
A live Ritt show took over coffee shop venue The Winnebago last Thursday, accompanied by openers Shane T and Donivan Berube. To my pleasant surprise, both preceding sets were brilliant — Shane T’s fretful and robust vocals stole the show, and Berube’s meditative punk properly reflected their values of self-discovery and individualism.
The small back room of The Winnebago was an ideal setting for such a show — random board games scattered across tables and a spare lamp presumably from a previous performance remained on the stage. The intimacy of the space paired well with Ritt’s slightly spacey disposition, and the acoustics were friendly to Rutter’s falsetto-heavy style.
Kicking off their set, Ritt started things with the sweet yet harrowing song — “Lew’s Lullaby” —with a quick pace that adequately balances the depressive lyricism. Worthy of playing in the back of one’s mind while drifting through life, the track is highly representative of their range and ability.
“Pollution / Disclaimer” followed, bringing its seductively hesitant beats and sweet keyboard riffs in tandem with raw vocals, leaving you hanging onto every note. The rap section of the song is endearing, and its prim and proper nature allowed for seamless transitions.
The ballady and vigorous “Paper News” is a bit more upbeat than their typical forte, but was stabilized by the reverberation-reliant “Surely, You’d Burn the Same.”
Feel-good tunes “III” and “Something in General” trailed with glee, each delicate and grossly beautiful in their own way, with tinges of lofi interspersed throughout the latter. While The Winnebago isn’t a cinematic venue by any means, the fluorescent lights continuously hit the glossed over guitars just perfectly — making it much more difficult to remember we were sitting in a coffee shop.
The next track — a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time of Dying” — was unbelievable. It takes a lot to pull off a Zep cover, especially without straying too far from their original sound. Yet, Ritt gave a valiant rendition, swerving between jaw-dropping, Robert-Plant-edition improvisations and badassery with shocking ease. While a highly controversial and arguably over-confident setlist decision, they f*cking killed it.
Switching gears entirely, Ritt subsequently jumped into “Young Adult”, one of their earlier, ambient songs. It’s tempting to get lost in its instrumentalism, but the inclusion of a female voice (presumably Rutter’s ex-girlfriend) served as a fantastic complement.
The ooey-gooey, yet tech-ed out autotune version of “Probably!” was dope. Background beats paired with light piano resulted in equal parts delicate and sultry beauty.
Another cover — this time Frank Ocean’s “Pink Matter” — was also well-executed, and further showcased how each member’s uncut talent isn’t confined within the bounds of genre.
Finishing the show off with “(If) The Book Doesn’t Sell” Ritt and company displayed their range — flipping the switch between dainty and aggressively passionate at the drop of a pin, paired with some wildly impressive tempo manipulation leaving the audience awestruck.
Evocative, relatable and confident, Ritt Momney proves how important symmetry and reciprocal spirit are to the success of a band known for their careful construction and loaded lyricism. While softer than one would expect, these dudes are rockers: they just simply have the scope to pull whatever they want off.
Sam Jones is an opinion editor for the Daily Cardinal. To read more of her work, click here.