Justin Rutledge Ascends

Justin Rutledge Ascends
"A man descending is propelled by inertia. The only initiative left him is whether or not he decides to enjoy its passing scene.” Guy Vanderhaeghe is this author of this particular quote, from his 1982 short story collection Man Descending, but that didn’t stop Toronto singer-songwriter Justin Rutledge from making these pensive words his own.

"That one quote just really, really resonated with me,” says the singer, who named his new album Man Descending. "What drew me to the book was that it critiqued some of the characters that I wanted to write about. There are characters that have this inability to communicate emotionally or physically. They have the inability to create or permeate; they have a sort of emotional and physical paralysis. And even after digesting all of this, there still aren’t many answers on the record. But there are lots of questions.”

Compared to 2006’s The Devil On A Bench In Stanley Park, Rutledge feels Man Descending is a much more patient, intimate and mature album, despite recording it in just three days. It centres on the coping process, that limbo between metaphysical mental states, best represented by the shipwreck tale of "Greenwich Time.”

Lyrics play an important role for the country/folk artist who dropped out of university in order to record his 2005 debut No Never Alone. Now, his aborted English lit studies are playing a larger role in his life than ever.

"I do read a lot, and I do try to apply certain elements of what I read to my music, but I also leave a lot of space,” Rutledge says. "I don’t really try to cram a lot in there. I try to throw little darts every ten seconds. I don’t want to rush anything. I guess it’s just the value of the written word.”