Review Archive

‘Bright Mainland’ by Jenny Ritter - more than meets the eye

(April 08, 2013)

There’s a certain frailty to Jenny Ritter's vocals that once absorbed makes them all the more bright mainlandappealing. Add to that some well-crafted lyrics, catchy hooks, engaging melodies, contributions from carefully selected musicians and the combination is alluring. The strength of that allure is evident as the more you listen to her album ‘Bright Mainland’ the more her songs grow on you.

At first hearing, the depth of her songs is muted by the fragility of her voice but that doesn’t linger as Jenny’s vocals grow into her narrative songs. Once you tune-in this album offers eleven personal yet accessible songs that fall between a folk-and-pop feel, and a slightly more serious vein. And where they fall creates the attraction. Moving from the echoes of youthful dreams in ‘Five Nights’ through the compelling melody and lyrics of ‘We Must Sing’ and gentle observations and hypnotic harmonies of ‘Cold House Song’ to the sparkling fiddle and strings of ‘Resolute’ steers a clear course through Jenny’s songs.Deeper into the album the slightly sombre edge appears – listen to ‘No Misfortune’ or ‘Weathervane’ to hear the change as Jenny take’s her vocals to another more powerful yet somehow increasingly reflective level. I liked this album – there’s a lot to it, and more than meets the eye.

Playing alongside Jenny Ritter (vocals, guitar, banjo, electric guitar) on various tracks on ‘Bright Mainland’ are Adrian Dolan (bass, fiddle, viola, mandola, electric guitar, vocals) Lucas Goetz (drums, pedal steel, vocals, electric guitar) Elise Boeur (viola, vocals) Ryan Boeur (electric guitar) Bear Erickson (electric guitar) and Meg Iredale (vocals) as well as the Kingsgate Chorus.

Reviewer: Tom Franks

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