- 28 Apr 23
British pop sensation is back in the game.
It’s been four years since the release of Freya Ridings' breakthrough, self-titled debut, which yielded the Love Island-boosted megahit ‘Lost Without You’.
Now, Freya is back with Blood Orange – and while the four-year break has yielded fresh, exciting tracks such as ‘Dancing In A Hurricane’, ‘Happier Alone’, and ‘Bitter’, you sense that there is a story behind the album that hasn’t been fully told. Or not yet at least.
‘Perfect’ breaks no new ground musically, but there is a confessional quality that is arresting. “I have lived in fear,” Freya confesses, “For so many years/ That I would never/ Be enough.” If that betrays a sense of insecurity, occasioned when she was younger perhaps by her extreme dyslexia, the good news is that she has come to terms with it and is back on the road to empowerment. “Maybe it’s not worth it,” she self-admonishes, “No one needed perfect.” It is a lesson for us all.
There is insecurity too in the latest single, ‘Can I Jump’ – another introspective ballad, addressed to a love object who has taken her for a parachute ride. “I know you well,” she declares, “but I’m scared as hell/ Trying not to feel the fear/ I’m feeling now/ Can I jump?”
It is a question we all have to feel we can answer in the affirmative – and on Blood Orange, Freya Ridings does. The vocals are strong throughout, with ‘Someone New’ best capturing the vocal talent of the 28-year-old, And there is a summery pop appeal to tracks like ‘I Feel Love’ and ‘Wolves’ that may well see her topping the charts as the sun begins to shine.
“No one really knows me,” she proclaims in ‘Weekends’, performed recently on both the Graham Norton Show and The Late Late Show. But perhaps we do just a little bit more now, and better.
Freya Ridings makes no attempt to reinvent the wheel musically. But the best may be yet to come. “You have held me down,” she accuses in ‘Perfect’, “And I am rising now...”
The journey may be just starting.
Listen: ‘Wither On The Vine’
The new issue of Hot Press, starring Freya Ridings, is out now.