Photo: Jamie Rowan
You wouldn’t want to sleep on a pop artist whose earliest work has been praised by the likes of Florence Welch and Taylor Swift, would you? Of course not – so you’d better keep your eyes on Freya Ridings. The British starlet, set to drop her self-titled debut album on July 19 of this year, has just gifted us the latest in a line of singles titled “Castles.”
“Castles” is an exceptional pop track in just about every category. Ridings’ vocal lead is the immediate star; her rich warble manages to tap into an unfathomable well of emotion that portrays a quest for self-betterment in the wake of heartbreak. Over a thunderous drum beat elevated by a robust, elegant piano, Ridings sings, “I’m gonna build castles from the rubble of your love.” The singers’ lyrical metaphor, combined with expert instrumentation, pens a sonic story worthy of widespread pop airplay.
In addition to Ridings’ authoritative vocal and expansive arrangement, “Castles” benefits from a powerhouse cast of behind-the-scenes collaborators. “Castles” and the other songs on Freya Ridings feature producers like Mark Crew (Bastille, Rag’N’Bone Man) and Dan Nigro (Charli XCX, Lewis Capaldi), as well as mixers such as Serban Ghenea (Halsey, Ariana Grande) and Tom Elmhirst (Lady Gaga, Amy Winehouse, David Bowie), among others. Of course, superstar collaborations are old news for Ridings – her last music video for “You Mean The World To Me” stars Maisie Williams and was directed by Lena Headey, both of Game of Thrones.
Though she collaborates with some of the most notable industry professionals on her upcoming album, Ridings is no slouch in the creative process. Of the 12 tracks to be released on Freya Ridings, the singer herself penned 11 - a notable feat in an era of pop-songwriting collectives. The 12th song on the album is a cover of Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Maps.”
This October, Ridings will be joining Hozier on the fall leg of his North American tour. In the mean time, Check out “Castles” below, and be on the lookout for Ridings’ full-length debut later this summer.
For more on Ridings, revisit Ones To Watch’s “Live From The Rooftop” session with her below: