Ruby Red is a gaspingly sensual document of not just romantic regret but also entire (perhaps multigenerational) cycles of bad choices, breakups, belated accountability and restored, swaggering self-esteem. One half of acclaimed Americana duo HoneyHoney, Santo for her 2017 solo debut tamed the rock instincts of songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer Butch Walker (Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, etc.) to conjure a rare shiver of a record, both last-call, last-chance intimate and, at times, rambling, feet-off-the-pedals rural. Fiddle, keys, mandolin and pedal steel shimmer busily yet always maintain a respectful distance from the record’s sheer songwriting prowess and Santo’s achingly delicate, oft femme-feral delivery, her every utterance pillow-talk parting words. Gently gothic and deliciously, almost despite-herself wanton, Ruby Red renders genre irrelevant, trumped and transcended by its paranormally nuanced confessions of battle with both self-destruction and (related) dark desires.