Brooks Ritter
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Brooks Ritter

Louisville, Kentucky, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | INDIE | AFM

Louisville, Kentucky, United States | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Soul



The best kept secret in music


"Ghosts Come to Life on New EP from Louisville’s Brooks Ritter"

Louisville-based singer-songwriter Brooks Ritter has returned with his newest collection of songs since 2016’s Stereo of Steel. It is a 5-track EP called Ghosts Come to Life, an appropriate title as the record is filled with lots of spirit and lots of life. I caught up with Ritter and got to ask him a few questions about the new EP and what he’s got in store for us.

It’s great to hear new music from Brooks Ritter, and this new EP does not disappoint. How have you changed most as an artist since releasing Stereo of Steel in 2016?

Thank you so much for your kind words. A lot has changed since 2016, and I’ve grown so much as an artist. One of things that has changed, has been not allowing other people to dictate what my music should sound like. Having healthier boundaries when it comes to the editing process. In the last five years my musical inspiration and artists I listen to have really shifted. I still love classic rock and soul, but I’ve listened to more pop music than I ever have before and drawing inspiration from that. That being said, Ghosts Come to Life is definitely a “rock” album in sound, but I’ve really embraced my love for a great “pop chorus,” if that makes sense. My desire with Ghosts Come To Life is that my fans get to see a new side of my musical journey and where my career is headed.

Ghosts Come to Life is an evocative, thought-provoking title; what is the significance behind it?

In the journey to writing this EP, I had a lot of life experiences that influenced the title. The line, Ghosts Come To Life, actually comes from the song ‘Atone’ where you can sense more of the emotion behind it. In the context of the song the verse is, “Your mind is playing tricks on you. All your ghosts come to life into view. I am not one of those but I wear his same clothes. Your mind is playing tricks on you.” Ghosts, in this context I liken to fear. So the person in the song speaking is essentially saying “all your fears have manifested” and though you may associate me with your own fears, that’s not me. Even though it’s a pretty damn heavy theme, the song is very tongue-in-cheek at its core. Which is why this line “ghosts come to life” really stood out to me in the first place. It’s both a scary thing to have your fears in sense, realized but again so much of life has blurred lines and is listed in the “unknown” category. Embracing them can lead to growth.

You can feel the energy of the EP as soon as it begins; tell me about the recording/production process.

The production/recording process for this EP was definitely way more different than any other one of my albums. First, I had the privilege of working with my dear friend and producer, Vince Emmett; which was an honor and dream come true for me. We began with pre-production, which was Vince and I combing through about forty or so of my songs and see what stood out to both he and I. Once we chose these five songs I think it just clicked for me and from that moment I knew that this was going to be my most raw and honest project I’ve released, to date. My band and I then hit the “woodshed.” Vince would come up and sit in on our rehearsals, really producing the rehearsals, putting us in the right headspace to be able to get down to business once we’re in the studio. It was our goal from the beginning to find the truth within the songs themselves, and like many of my favorite records we were able to record live. That, I believe is what sets this EP apart from the rest of my albums, which is why you can sense the energy and truth of five musicians in one room working off of each other’s energy. Second, I was so happy to be part of a record label like SonaBlast, which really encouraged and supported me throughout the process. As far as recording, we had the chance to go down to Nashville, TN. and record at Sound Emporium Studios and work with David Hall, and my band. Everyone who was involved with the process was all in, and without that, we wouldn’t have been able to have an EP like this.

Any new singles or content on the horizon for Ghosts Come to Life?

As of right now, I am working on a few different projects that we will share soon, but as far as ‘Ghosts Come To Life’ the EP is complete and the full project has been released. It’s available for download and streaming on all your favorite platforms. I also started a YouTube channel, where I’ll break down in more detail the writing process of many of these songs and more. I’ll throw in some covers that I’ve been loving lately. My most recent was Billie Eilish’s ‘When the Party’s Over’. She is a really gifted artist!

What more can listeners look forward to from Brooks Ritter?

Listeners can expect to see more music from me, as my musical journey continues, more shows and content coming your way. I am so excited for what this year holds and hope to continue to work towards providing amazing music and inspiration to those around me. Hopefully more collabs with folks like The Jesse Lees, wink wink. Had to throw that in there! But in all realness, I want to collaborate with other artists and join our voices in making more music that centers around love and diversity. Being a Louisville native has taught me a lot, and we have a lot of love to offer people.

Stream the Ghosts Come to Life EP on Spotify below! - By Otis Junior

"Brooks Ritter’s ‘Devil’s Teeth’ is all about choices we make"

After a lengthy absence, well-respected Louisville musician Brooks Ritter has returned with new music. With the new song, Devil’s Teeth, we get the first taste of an upcoming release. John Timmons had the chance to speak with Brooks and get the details.

Welcome back! It’s been awhile since we last heard from you. 2016’s Stereo of Steel album I believe? What have you been up to?

Man, it’s felt like a while for sure, and all I can say is how thankful i am to be back and releasing new music. A lot has happened in the last four years. Two and half years ago I got remarried and have been enjoying this time with my wife and kids, all while preparing to release this EP. This is a project that I’m incredibly proud of because of the honesty, and rawness that the songs have. Almost two years ago I had the privilege of signing with sonaBlast! Records, and it’s been amazing experience working with them.

The new single, Devil’s Teeth, is our first taste of your upcoming EP, Ghosts Come to Life. Tell us about the EP, where it was recorded, players, etc. and when it’s available.

I am super excited for everyone to have the whole EP and be able to experience those songs. I was so lucky to be able to work with my amazing producer, Vince Emmett, who really helped mold this EP to what it is today. Before COVID we were all able to head down to Nashville, TN. and record this album at Sound Emporium Studios which was a dream come true for me. I had my amazing band with me on this project, my talented wife, Bianca Ritter on vocals, Seth Jenkins on electric guitar, Steve Pierce on bass, Niko Albanese on drums and percussion, and Bob Ramsey on B3. Vince also played keys and various instruments, adding texture after texture.

The new song sounds great, and perhaps a bit darker than some of your other songs. What’s the backstory?

Devil’s Teeth is a song that combines our humanity and inner struggle while faced with the choice of walking down a well-lit street or a dark alley, we tend to choose the dark alley. It toys with ideals of “wanting to make the right decision,” but the other option looks more appealing. It’s a song about acceptance and that those decisions are ours to make. If you’re listening to this — take time to dive deep into all of those emotions; the good, bad, and the ugly.

I’m sure, like most artists, you’re anxious to get back to playing live shows. Any plans for an EP release celebration? Perhaps a live-stream or socially distanced performance?

For sure! I miss all the live shows and can’t wait to get back on stage. We definitely are looking at all our options on doing a release show. Which most likely will be a virtual event due to COVID. Hopefully all of those details will come soon and y’all will be able to get more info on my website and social media outlets. - By John Timmons

"Sonic Breakdown: Brooks Ritter — ‘Wears My Face’"

LEO’s biweekly sonic breakdown column deconstructs a single song from an area musician or band.

Songwriter Brooks Ritter is a poet, extrapolating the small details of everyday life and setting it to music. On “Wears My Face,” he showcases his ability to elegantly get to the source of emotions, minus any unnecessary saccharine — a trait often sought, but hard to find.

“The song is about humanity — the darkness and light that we see each day in the eyes of the people we pass along the streets,” Ritter said. “The idea, that there’s something deeper in us, that’s either struggling to come out, or that we’re suppressing. I’ve watched horror movies for years, which is a whole other story, but that plays into the first verse, the idea of being chased while you don’t know where the hell this hallway is taking you, and yet you keep running. Life, right?”

“Wears My Face” features graceful guitar work, honeyed vocals, meticulous harmonies and crystalline production.

“Honestly, the inspiration just came like most of my writing — often, it’s me sitting at my kitchen table, with a cup of coffee, or if it’s the evening, maybe some bourbon, with guitar and notebook in hand, trying to make sense of life,” Ritter said. “This song is mostly written in first person. The horror movie imagery is me trying to reach the metaphorical end goal of life. What that is exactly is different for everyone, but the similar feeling we can all agree on is, ‘I see where I want to be personally, but I don’t know how the hell to get there.’ I resonate with that deeply.”


Ritter also cited the song as a particular and personal highlight of his music career.

“I remember [at] the album release show of Stereo of Steel, I played ‘Wears My Face’ just like the record — just me. And the amount of people who already knew the tune and were singing their asses off, just blew me away. It was a pivotal moment for me, personally. I take that memory with me each time I step on a stage.”

And while Ritter seemingly enjoyed discussing “Wears My Face,” it would seem that, in general, he prefers maintaining a tighter lip. To him, a song can mean anything to anyone and he’s not one to ruin the experience.

“I love discussing the meaning of songs, one, because I’m such a fan of writing and of music in general,” Ritter said. “Like all of my songs, I’m trying to say something. Something that’s meaningful to both me and my listeners. But for me too, I absolutely love the mystery behind it all. I’m fine with not knowing what a certain song means, as a fan, and, even more so, I love when people attach their own meaning to my songs. That’s the beauty of songwriting.” • - BY TYREL KESSINGER


Latest Release - Ghosts Come To Life

3rd Album - Stereo Of Steel 

2nd Album - Gather Round 

1st Album - The Horse Fell Lame 



Brooks Ritter debuted his most recent album, Ghost Come To Life, on January 1st, 2021. Ritter is a Louisville, Kentucky native musician, and his music ranges from “soul to roots music, with a little indie-rock.” His previous album, Stereo of Steel follows a similar pattern with 10 original songs. Ritter has toured with various bands during his music career, including Sara Watkins from Nickel Creek, Greg Laswell, Anderson East, Zella Day, Ben Sollee, and others. 

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