GITTA DE RIDDER - FEATHERS
LCM ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Release Date: 21st September, 2016
Genre: Singer-Songwriter, Acoustic
Location: London, UK / Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Band members: Kai Liebrand (Bass), Simon Lewis (Cello), Fiddes 'James' Smith (Mandolin and Banjo) and Leon Schmitz (Additional drums)
Record Label: Little Memories Records
'Feathers' is the very impressive debut album from Anglo-Dutch singer-songwriter Gitta de Ridder. It's the follow up to Gitta's critically acclaimed 2014 debut EP 'Come Find Me'. We are big fans of Gitta's songwriting here at LCM and this highly anticipated collection of 10 self-penned tracks is honest, personal and heartfelt. There is something very special, sincere and engaging about her delivery, a real sense of purity and a strong sense of melody, which instantly grabs your attention and draws you into her magical world. Her songs and lyrics are beautifully crafted and often very reflective, drawing on her own life experiences. These are songs about family, friendship, relationships and lost love. Subjects that all of us can relate to. We have seen Gitta many times solo and this album builds on fingerpicked acoustic guitar and sublime vocals by adding layers of harmony vocals, bass, percussion, cello, mandolin and banjo to produce a richer sound and feel.
Inspired by modern folk artist such are Anais Mitchell and Iron & Wine, Gitta has been playing and releasing since 2014, which led to appearances on Dutch national TV and radio and support from BBC introducing and several local stations in the UK. The multi-talented Gitta recorded and produced the album herself at Headpunch Studios (London), as well as creating the artwork and design. She also hosts and promotes intimate quarterly 'Sound Of Songs' concerts in London & Amsterdam, which are some of our favourites to attend.
Gitta says about the new album “With my songs I intend to create a world full of atmosphere and feeling, feelings of joy, sadness and wonder. I aim to be that voice that says it all out loud without any filters, that speaks truths even if I we don’t really want to hear them, that speaks a word of love, of human nature, of comfort or one of pain. But most of all, I aim to create music and art that comes from a place of heart and soul and realness where all the gooey niceness comes from, oh yesness”
The album begins with the gentle and soothing 'Wanderer'. Gitta's ethereal vocals float over soft picked acoustic guitar. "Wanderer the river shining in the morning sun. Wanderer between the country and the city we will run". One of our favourites on the album is the reflective, heartfelt and joyous 'Even If'. A song about love, friendship and relationships. We really like the strong lyric writing and very catchy chorus. "If you'd turn out different than I had imagined, I'd still be your friend to the end". Gitta is having a lot of fun in the video below after raiding her dressing up box.
Always a firm live favourite is the tender 'Stay A Little Longer', about living far away from family and having little time to spend when you are finally together. We love Laura Frances' harmony vocals on the live version below.
The deeply personal and beautifully written title track 'Feathers' is a tender love song with a sublime chorus. "I gave you a feather, I gave you my wings.......I gave you a promise. I gave you a dream" . Another favourite is the personal and reflective 'Alternate Reality'. It's about considering different paths in life, different choices and actions that can often be life changing and wondering 'What If'? "I see a road, but I turn back. I see a house but I will pass. I see a life that isn't mine. I see a love that will never be......'cause you are the man I'll never have. Though I have wanted you since the day we met....But we can be together in this alternate reality......a thousand moments that will never happen".
'We Make Three' is a song about starting a family and returning home to your roots. Next is the upbeat and positive 'Victory' "We need a brighter light to shine, shiny like a diamond in the sun. To bring the light back in our hearts. Bringing back my love to bring me warmth, oh stop this war". A beautiful song in Gitta's live playlist is 'Till The Day That I Die'. With the addition of cello on the track, it gives it a slightly deeper mournful quality, which works very well. The song very much reminds us of Mazzy Star's 'Into Dust' in the harmony patterns and the lovely feeling of space in the song. With its bird song intro and backing the tale of lost love 'Oh Tommy' is another wonderfully written song. "But the walls came crumbling down, when the storm came into town and it blew it all down and it throw me to the ground.......On Tommy I know you didn't mean to go but the wind caught your wings and took you far away. Oh Tommy I hope the wind will take you home one day. When you follow its direction maybe you could stay". With it's beautiful chorus and refrain the heartfelt and gentle 'Lie With Me' closes a wonderful debut album. "Like a child in the dark. I stay up late. Like a radio wave. A siren's parade.....Lie with me, lie with me tonight. Lie with me till all is bright"
"SPEAK with honesty and kindness, MAKE all your hearts desire, IMAGINE and DREAM, never stop dreaming. It is the greatest TREASURE, the biggest PRIZE and all you need to do to win is JUST BE YOU!" Gitta x