At this stage, it’s hard not to have heard of British breakthrough act Freya Ridings after her song ‘Lost Without You’ peaked at number nine in the UK Official Chart and has been streamed almost a staggering 100 million times. With her single gaining such stellar success, the looming question is whether Ridings is a one hit wonder? And frankly, the short answer is no.
Album opener ‘Poison’ is a fragile piece with a dark heart as melodies glide delicately off the lily-white keys while Freya silkily sings tales of insatiable love, crescendoing into a form of gothic ballad. ‘Lost Without You’ no matter how many times played, never quite manages to lose its magic. Featured on 2018’s Love Island, the melodic strength of Freya’s song writing could transform the ITV2 series into a harrowing HBO drama. Similarly, to Lewis Capaldi’s ‘Someone You Loved’, its beauty is devastatingly delivered and always manages to arrest your attention.
‘Castles’ is a welcome change of pace and illustrates Freya’s ability to craft catchy-chorus filled pop destined for the radio while ‘You Mean the World To Me’ may not pack the emotional punch of ‘Lost Without You’ but still cuts deep. Spirits are lifted as Ridings rallies you out the depths of despair and offers rousing recitals of love and uncertainty in ‘Love Is Fire’ and ‘Holy Water’. ‘Still Have You’ is utterly magnetic and lingers long after it’s finished while ‘Wishbone’, the album finale, is a bittersweet symphony of emotions giving real depth to the albums entirety.
Sitting somewhere comfortably within the realms of London Grammar, Lewis Capaldi and The Lumineers, Freya Ridings is a master of the melancholy. Over twelve tracks, Freya lays it out bare, often emotionally exposed and never without doubts, yet rises from the ashes of uncertainty and scorches the sky as one of Britain’s brightest new stars.
Freya Ridings is out now via Good Soldier Songs.