"Freya Ridings" is the debut full length studio album by English singer-songwriter Freya Ridings, released on 19th July 2019 through Good Soldier Songs and AWAL. It includes the singles "Lost Without You", which reached the UK top ten. It was named one of nine albums to look forward to in 2019 by Smooth Radio.
British singer/songwriter Freya Ridings' eponymous debut album is a heartfelt musing on pain and vulnerability. It explores the pushes and pulls of love with her first-rate vocals and rare songwriting prowess.
Ridings opens with "Poison," a piano-driven track lined with razors. It begins feather light, but the strings soon reach a point of frantic rage. Ridings sets loose her soulful voice, her hook being that she refuses spare her audience; not from pain, nor from joy. She swings beautifully, if a little like whiplash, between uptempo pop tracks like "Castles" and introspective, seductive ballads like "Ultraviolet," a tune that highlights the more ethereal, dark elements of Ridings' work. Though I suppose that's just how love works.
The undeniable triumph of this album is Ridings' voice, which soars. It is very rare to find a voice that sounds identical in live performances as it does on a studio track, but Ridings is definitely one of those singers. For previous Ridings fans, her album will sound familiar. Largely comprised of studio versions of tracks released on her two live albums, this album feels like a fleshed out, fully-realized body of work for a talented artist who is still very young and despite her major success thus far, still attempting to find her footing.
Reviewed by Tanis Smither for earmilk.com.