NOAH BETHKE (Publicist)
RENEE COTSIS (Publicist)
Bulgarian singer songwriter Ruth Koleva returns with her second album, Confidence. Truth. It’s a deeply personal collection of pop songs encapsulating a variety of moods – from melancholic studio confessions to epic, euphoric anthems. With a little brassy defiance thrown in for good measure.
Produced by compatriot Gueorgiu Linev of LA band Kan Wakan, and written with rising star Rachel Row, Jonah Christian (Stones Throw), Lindsay Olsen and SAIGO, Confidence.Truth feels like the kind of album that could easily conquer radio and yet also be your closest companion and confidant.
Although rooted in soul and influenced by jazz like its predecessor, this is Koleva as you’ve never heard her before. The sound is big, highly evocative and always moving. You feel it mirrors the restless spirit and growth of the artist herself as she flirts with the past, confronts her demons and finds joy in rediscovering herself.
One minute we are feeling the rapture of love through the orchestrated tension and driving chorus of ‘Oceans’, the next we are in the middle of a painful breakup and battling depression on ‘A New Home’. At first adrift in a desolate world, the loping rhythm and soothing melody soon kick in. And the healing begins.
Tracks such as ‘I Don’t Know Why’ lend a deeper insight into Koleva’s character, how her mood is always “swinging with the wind” and yet there is always someone there to keep up with her. The arrangement on that track is one of the best on the album and grooves like vintage Jamiroquai or Brand New Heavies.
Other highlights include the throbbing pulse and swirl of ‘Wantchu’ – an ode to infatuation with tight, catchy verses that get to the heart of the matter. Elsewhere, the blues-tinged ‘What You Say To A Girl’ will strike a chord with many at a time when attitudes towards women are under scrutiny. (“You ain’t got a clue/Don’t wanna waste your time, and have you comprehend my side/So go ahead and blame me/go ahead and entertain yourself.”)
Closing track ‘Didn’t I’ is this album’s torch song. A piano ballad built on a bed of oooohs and mmmms. Koleva laments how we often long for the past – the places we’ve been, the people we have loved – but when we go back, it’s never quite the same.
The more you listen to this album, the more clever changes, touches and flourishes you will discover. It helps to have a strong team with you in the studio and Confidence.Truth features a group of the best players in contemporary soul and RnB. There’s keys maestro Ron Avant (Anderson Paak), Jameel Bruner (formerly of the Internet) on synths, drummer Gene Coye (Flying Lotus) and bassist Cooper Appelt. Not forgetting the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra…
Press play, feel every note and sentiment. It only gets better with time.