WE REVIEW THE NEW ALBUM FROM RUTA DI – YELLOW SUMMER
Second album from the eclectic London based artist Ruta Di who draws from a broad range of genres such as neo-soul, jazz and folk is as vibrant and light as its title suggests. Merging her vivid musical knowledge together with her own refined skill, “Yellow Summer” is an album that sounds sophisticated as it is playful.
Introducing herself by celebrating her roots as a Lithuanian woman the track “Beginnings” which exquisitely opens the album is a spoken monologue by Ruta Di in her native language over shimmering piano chords. With its excitable, dreamy melody this song feels like a rejuvenating entrance into a new world. In this case, this is the listener being welcomed into the whimsical and miscellaneous world of Ruta Di’s music.
The second track off “Yellow Summer” continues in the same light-hearted and carefree fashion, “Perfect As It Is” is a track all about allowing things to flow and progress naturally without forcing it. Instrumentally flowing smoothly with a laidback jazz/soul vibe and Ruta Di’s quirky vocal improvisations freely bursting from the melody, everything about this track sounds authentic and instinctive to match its message. With Ruta Di’s unconfined and elegant guitar playing, “Perfect As It Is” a track that feels like it’s encouraging you to unwind. Other tracks off the album such as “Say” particularly lean into this vibe, asking the subject of the song to open up about their deeper feelings with an uplifting and immersive soul style and soft vocals.
One of the most charming aspects of Ruta Di’s music is how genuine her sound feels, staying true to her influences with live recorded and performed instruments and leaving her vocals untampered with nothing about this album feels sterile or inauthentic. Even lyrically, on later tracks like “I Like Both Of You” where Ruta Di faces and comes to terms with her decision to enjoy her time getting to know two men she stays honest and frank about her feelings adding to the relatability of her lyricism. There’s an inspiring rawness to Ruta Di’s music that that is extremely captivating. You know there is no false pretence.
As well as authenticity, with Ruta Di there is seemingly never a dull moment. Her storytelling in her lyrics is candid as it is often playful, never taking herself too seriously with innovative and frolicsome vocal style. It isn’t hard to see how it was decided that “Yellow Summer” should be the name for this album with its fun nature, this album is the ideal summer soundtrack in many ways. The folk inspired guitar used across the album adds to its exuberant and alleviating sound and the use of acoustics compliments intimate feel to Ruta Di’s music. Impressively, “Yellow Summer” is an album that very much pulls off both radical honesty and optimism simultaneously.
Whilst maintaining her dreamy and soothing melodies and playful attitude in her lyricism, Ruta Di also wastes no time showing off her highly refined and professional music skills and her clearly very comprehensive knowledge of musical genres. Blending classic jazz, nu-jazz, soul and even folk together to create a concept of her own Ruta Di wears her influences with pride and her guitar skills leave nothing to be desired. As she explains to us very clearly on the track “I Can Be Both” Ruta Di is multifaceted as both a person and an artist as she proves herself to be on this album with her diverse range of influences and rich melodies.
Writing all her own material herself, “Yellow Summer” sounds extremely polished as an album to say its only the second Ruta Di album released. Balancing her old-school style with a fresh approach to lyricism Ruta Di creates music that’s nostalgic with an unconventional spin on it. “Yellow Summer” is an album that is light as a feather yet filled to the absolute brim with skill and magical potential.