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AAA Music | 1 July 2022

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| On 04, May 2014

Ruth Koleva

Ruth Koleva released her second album (which is self-titled, Ruth) at the end of April. Already a big hit in her homeland of Bulgaria, Ruth is hoping to make an international name for herself this year, with a gig lined up at The Jazz Cafe in London in May and plans for western Europe, the US and Asia. Ruth’s style is influenced by big names such as Marvin Gaye, Ella Fitzgerald, and Nat King Cole and her youth growing up in post-communist Bulgaria alongside tours to India and Thailand with her father (who was weightlifter) at a young age have shaped her sound and made her determined to create her own path.

The music itself has some interesting grooves and instrumentation but there is not much variety. All the tracks seem to be one continuous homophony of sound which, after a while becomes rather like background music. The rhythmic aspects of the music are worth noting but they could be developed and contrasted more. Her voice is soft but well articulated and coats the music with a silky smooth veneer. I feel that the music craves more textural variety and tonal colour. There are some nice harmonic effects but through further exploration of the above she could reach a more individual and varied sound. More sonic events would hold the attention of listeners rather than the music fading into the background. The main strength of Ruth’s music is the groove writing which form a solid foundation and add interest to the album.

I would be interested to hear her sound on stage and compare it with her album; it might be worth going to see her live in May to get a real feel for her musical voice!

Heather Ryall