Jeremy Williams-Chalmers, Arts Correspondent

Ruthie Collins - Cold Comfort

Ruthie Collins grew up on a grape farm in Fredonia, New York and was brought up on a diet of classical and gospel music. However, all that changed during her teenage years when she fell in love with pop and country, with the latter introducing her to the narrative songs that would shape her own music career. While still a relatively new name on the Country scene, the Curb Records signed vocalist has already been rewarded with high praise from CMT, Rolling Stone and the LA Times. With such adulation ahead of her debut album, the expectations are high for this newcomer.

Cold Comfort is not the album for you if your take on Country is Kelsea Ballerini, Kane Brown or Maren Morris. While the three aforementioned artists have helped re-shape the boundaries of the Country genre, Ruthie Collins' sound is far more akin to the the folk-country of Emmylou Harris and Patty Griffin. A natural born storyteller, her debut record is fueled by insight and intrigue, which are partnered by her unassuming but often breezy vocal manner.

Although she states within her press release that the album sees her breaking rules, Cold Comfort is a fairly safe release. It doesn't challenge expectations, it simply delivers a strong sound within a well-explored sonic terrain.

So what makes Ruthie stand out from her contemporaries? She may be a pop fan, but it is her loyalty to the nuances of old school folk-country that make Cold Comfort an interesting listen. It may not be the most immediate of recordings, but then don't all the important things get better with age? With each listen a new moment is discovered and the depth of Ruthie Collins' artistry unravels.

Cold Comfort is not the album for you if you are wishing for instant reward. It is a grower that has a lot of heart, but it will only reveal its full beauty to those that take the time and care it requires.