When watching Ruthie Collins’ short film based off her album Get Drunk and Cry, you’re bound to see a piece of yourself in it. Inspired by Beyonce’s Lemonade, Collins decided to create a visual piece to bring the album to life, highlighting songs “Boys and Beaches,” “Getting Out There,” “Pink Bic,” “You Don’t” and the title track, with each cut serving as a personal diary entry of sorts.
The short film follows Collins as she battles the heartbreak of a painful breakup through the stories of five songs, watching her internal struggles play out on screen, whether spotting her ex out with a new woman or listening to her regrets as she sits on the floor after a night out. “There was already sort of a natural story ark in the songs just based on them being basically true life events that I’ve lived, so it just made sense to do it that way,” she tells Sounds Like Nashville about putting together the visual piece. Sitting down with the film’s director and producer, Collins mapped out the aftermath of the relationship and gathered her friends together to write the dialogue in between scenes, pouring her heart out in a way that was true to real life events. “I was involved in every single process and it was so much work but it’s really fun and such a different creative outlet,” she says of the final product, which was edited and released within 30 days. “I’m really happy with the way it came out.”
And her fans are pretty happy too, making a sincere effort to share how the project relates to their own lives. “I didn’t really know what it was going to mean until I put it out in the world because to me it was like, here’s an engaging way to understand me and my story and what I’ve been through and what these songs are about,” she admits. “What I’ve been getting back from people is ‘this is my life,’ ‘this is me a year ago,’ ‘this is what I’m going through right now.’ These people that I’ve never met or talked to are kind of coming out of the woodwork and it’s almost like they’re watching this and they’re relating to it and they’re feeling comfortable enough with me, a stranger, to share with me what’s going on with them and saying like, ‘I know that I can get to that last part, that last song, or you’re hopeful. I know I can get there.’”
That emotion is a dominant element on the album, with Collins citing “Get Drunk and Cry” and “Mockingbird” as two songs that impact her the most. She admits she feels a kinship for sad songs, as they have a way of reaching out to her in a compelling way. While the title track holds significant meaning in her life, she never intended to perform it for others, saying she thought it was too vulnerable of a moment to share outwardly. But it’s exactly this vulnerability that inspires young women to approach her after a show and share how much the song means to them and tell their own personal stories. “That’s the dream life, if you can create something that helps people at all. It’s blowing me away,” she raves. “Being happy is great, but being sad feels more. You feel it deeper, and that’s too bad, but that’s just the way it is. So I think sometimes sad songs touch people more and for me, that’s certainly the case.”
Get Drunk and Cry marks the first album release since her self-titled EP in 2014 and Collins says she feels like a new person, almost as if she went through a metamorphosis. While fans can expect to hear many parallels between the album and EP, she reveals that the new project reflects a sense of maturity and growth, mixed in with a modern country sound. “I’ve never been happier and I feel like I’m standing firmly on my own two feet, which is something I always wanted to do but never really done,” she says. “I’m proud of who I am as a person and I think that’s reflecting in my music. So I think that this record was definitely very therapeutic for me because it kind of tells that story.”