Up-and-coming artist and 615 House co-creator Chris Ruediger released his debut EP, Kid Anymore, on October 15. The four-track project, produced by Frank Legeay and Eric Torres, both introduces Ruediger to the country world and gives fans insight into his personal life.
Each track on the EP covers an authentic and personal aspect of Ruediger’s journey, beginning with the lively “Only So Many,” the lead track and first single from the album. In this pop-infused country tune, the 2021 Vanderbilt grad sings from the perspective of a college student who realizes that the time spent in college is fleeting and precious.
“I wrote it with Frank Legeay and Casey Derhak, and I told them, ‘There’s only so many moments in college that we have,’” Ruediger told Sounds Like Nashville. “I just kind of wanted to write a song for my best friends, my fraternity brothers, other college friends and the four years of my life that I don’t want to say I took for granted, but at least realized were pretty special.”
From “Only So Many,” the EP segues into “When You Don’t,” an emotional song in which Ruediger sings about a real-life love interest who moved away to the West Coast. The song covers the uncertainty that is felt in long-distance relationships, and much like real life, leaves doubt in the minds of listeners as to whether the relationship will work out or not. The bittersweet lyrics are paired with rock-influenced guitar accompaniment and ambient elements.
“It’s one of my favorite songs on the EP,” Ruediger says of the song. “I think it’s very emotional and very honest about a side of relationships that we don’t usually hear. I think there’s a lot of breakup songs, there’s a lot of love songs, but there aren’t that many songs that take an approach of trying to navigate and figure out whether this is something that’s going to last or not.”
The EP also finds Ruediger reaching into the recesses of his memory and singing about his upbringing in “Hand Me Downs.” In this tune, the Boston-born artist sings about the seemingly insignificant items given to him by his dad — such as a baseball glove, a used car, and vinyl records — that are now items that have precious memories attached to them. The acoustic guitar and twangy steel guitar instrumentation only intensifies the nostalgic feeling in the song.
Ruediger wraps up the project’s storyline with the title track, “Kid Anymore,” a coming-of-age story in which he wrestles with adulthood and the uncertainty of his chosen career while leaving a voicemail on his mom’s phone.
“The whole song takes the approach of me having a conversation with my mom through voicemail,” says Ruediger. “At first, I’m calling her and asking for help and guidance as I try to navigate the real world, and then at the end I think there’s a feeling of comfort, and even though there is uncertainty, I’m excited and understanding that I’m an adult now.”
Overall, Ruediger says the album gives fans a glimpse into who he is as a person and showcases who he is as an artist, which is a modern country storyteller.
“I try to be very honest in my storytelling, so I hope people are going to connect to it and relate to it in some capacity whether it’s your college experience or you realizing you’re growing up or being in a relationship,” he says. “I think all the songs touch on aspects of life that we all go through.”