Ruth B

"Safe Haven "

(Sony); (singer/songwriter)

By ​Phil ​Bennett

Canadian singer/songwriter, Ruth Berhe, created a name for herself when she received such a strong social media response to her Vine video page,that she ended up receiving nominations for such prestigious awards as the BET Award and a handful of Junos before she had even released her first album.

And this, her debut album, confirms what the fuss was all about.

Built around her smooth, piano accompaniment and smoky voice, often completely unadorned, these dozen self-penned numbers are like reading a diary of heart shakes, exploring the strange ways people behave when they rise and fall with each other.

Relationship quirks, self examination and injured emotions are the order of the day here and, despite her youth, she writes and sings like someone who knows her way around matters of the heart.

Full of wry musings on human foibles and failings, some of her turns of phrase are quite stunning in their inescapable simplicity.

Lines like “I know I don’t like you but I still choose to stay” (Unrighteous) “I responded with a little smile and nodded it away Well I get it now cos it’s your scrunched eyebrows that bring me to tomorrow” (Safe Haven) and “Is it so wrong of me to hope she breaks your heart?” (If By Chance).

With their darkly beautiful but intensely sad edge, these songs possess a lovely gloom that anyone who has had their heart dented can identify with in some way or another.

Gorgeously unsettling.

​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.