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Gitta De Ridder Gitta De Ridder
Album: Feathers
Label: Little Memories
Tracks: 10

Though now London-based, Gitta grew up in the Netherlands, but she credits the inspiration to write and sing her own songs from hearing artists such as Anaïs Mitchell at an early age. On the evidence of the music on her latest album, Feathers, her own songs are closer to folk-pop models, while her lyrics deal almost conversationally in their personal explorations of staple s/s matters such as humanity, family background and relationships. There's a compelling degree of wistfulness, too, about songs such as Even If and the title song, while the uncertainty of romance is conveyed on We Are Three and the affecting closing lullaby Lie With Me.

Gitta's songs are gently backed by her own smoothly fingerpicked guitar, and the album was mostly recorded in her own home-studio in straight one-take situations, only afterwards layered gently but effectively with the sounds of toy instruments and occasional cello (Alternate Reality and Till The Day I Die are especially captivating tracks in this regard) and perhaps an extra guitar or banjo part, and sometimes (as on Victory) her own soft vocal harmonies. At its best, Gitta's music is visionary, and it retains a healthy degree of intimacy that draws the listener right into her world. The simple expression of pure love in Oh Tommy is both deeply endearing and slightly eerie, and here, as on We Make Three and Even If, an uneasy delicacy is arguably conveyed as much by the subliminally textured backing as by Gitta's shifting vocalisation. "We need feathers to be able to fly", says Gitta; and you can't deny that, for her music creates the atmosphere in which this becomes possible.

David Kidman