On May 25, Barsuk will issue Winning Star Champion, the debut album from Ruler. A recording/touring veteran (including time with Rocky Votolato and Cataldo), Seattle-based Matt Batey has ventured out on his own with Ruler, armed with more than 120 songs he wrote during his years playing with others. On the 11-track Winning Star Champion, Batey gets by with a little help from his friends—like Michael Lerner (Telekenisis), Eric Howk (Portugal. The Man, Lashes) and Eric Anderson (Cataldo)—but this is Batey’s show, and he proves to be more than up to the challenge.
For Batey, this record is personal; not only did he play most of the instruments on it as well as produce it, his lyrics focus on him facing his demons (addiction, agoraphobia, self-sabotage, uncertainty) head on in order to move past them, to get better, to survive. That these intensely honest and inspirational tales are delivered via the kind of catchy and grown-up indie rock you’ve come to expect from Barusk (like MAGNET faves Death Cab For Cutie, Nada Surf and the Long Winters) makes Winning Star Champion one you don’t want to lose out on experiencing.
We’re proud to premiere the video for “Get To You” today on magnetmagazine.com. Says Batey of the song, “‘Get To You’ is a about feeling unable to connect with others, even when they are doing everything they can to get through. I think a lot of people can relate to feeling alone in a room full of people.” We can definitely relate, especially with the Dan Fromhart-directed video reinforcing that feeling of isolation we all sometimes have even when surrounded by others.
Check out the clip for “Get To You,” and catch Ruler at Seattle’s Upstream Festival in June and Carnation, Wash.’s TIMBER! Summer Music Festival in July. In the meantime, you can pre-order Winning Star Champion right here, right now.