REBECCA RIEDTMANN BIOGRAPHY, AUGUST 2018
Some voices have the subtle ability to reach out from the speaker and reel you in. It's an intangible combination of sonic timbre and songwriting nous that conjures a certain, beguiling atmosphere, and it's all over the debut album by Rebecca Riedtmann.
The Surrey-based singer-songwriter has been much in demand at such festival landmarks as the Isle Of Wight, the inaugural Black Deer and countless other locations. Now, on Not All Who Wander Have Lost Their Way, Rebecca takes her raising in melodic pop-rock, infuses it with rootsy influences and emerges with something uniquely her own.
The album is a delightful showcase for her powerfully intimate songs, all invested with heartfelt lyrics and smoky delivery on a compelling record that will stand tall on the ever-growing UK Americana scene. It includes the sumptuous first single 'A Better Me,' one of several tracks to feature the beautiful harp playing of Tom Moth, a key member of the world-conquering Florence + the Machine.
Elsewhere, there's a country vibe to 'Georgia' that's informed by her time in Nashville, a dark and mysterious Mississippi narrative on 'Rust & Flames' and many other treats. What unites them all is Riedtmann's sense of wonder at being the lightning rod who gave the songs life, and at having kindred spirits around her to illustrate them.
“It feels like I have created the core building of a song and other people come and add all the pretty things like shutters and hanging baskets,” she says. “Songwriting for me is something I feel I’ve done throughout my life in some form or another – its something that I couldn't NOT do.
“One of the most wonderful things about songwriting is watching something you've created take on a life of its own when you release it into the world. My music has become bigger than me. It's like its own living creature."
Growing up, Rebecca cut her teeth on the artistry of Fleetwood Mac, in the classic Buckingham-Nicks era, and on superior harmonic pop from both sides of the Atlantic, be it by the Hollies or the Beach Boys. Stevie Nicks remains one of her solo favourites, as do other fiercely independent voices such as Frazey Ford and Gillian Welch. “They create the songs they want to, without trying to fit into a mold” she says simply. “I've got a lot of admiration for people that do their own thing.”
That notion of making music for only the right reasons goes deep into Riedtmann's creative approach. “I went to a songwriters' forum in Nashville once,” she says, “and the best advice I got was 'Write what you want to write, and let somebody else find a home for it.'” That's exactly what Rebecca has done, and Not All Who Wander Have Lost Their Way is her reward, and ours. Now we can look forward to hearing the songs come to life on stage.
As for that striking title? “It's a lyric from the song 'Georgia',” she says. “It's about life being a voyage and not necessarily knowing how things are going to turn out, but it doesn't mean one is lost. It's not about money or fame. For me, it's all about making good music with good people.”