The American and England based singer Rider, a sporty girl and full of energy feels what she sings and had now her show at the legendary Water Rats Venue on the 13.6.18.
To me, the word ‘Rider’ and her music stand for riding the waves of emotions and for being free. The way she dressed on that night, the way she moved, it made me immediately fantasize about her doing some cool sports and I hope some music video director reads my plea and shows her in a vid, doing parkour or skating while singing! With her tomboyish look, charisma, and expressiveness she soon had the crowd on her side! And still, there is also something very innocent and naive about her demeanor, it feels fresh, clean, warm and good-hearted. However, there is more to her than meets the eye…
When the song OH MY GOD came on and she kneeled down while singing this line, I thought, “Hmm that’s interesting, that’s a very stark contrast to the first impression I had about her“.
The song is about a relationship that ended and she (possibly Rider) can’t let go of her past love as she feels guilty, so she turns to god and prays to be strong and confident.
Rider reveals after the song that she believes in god and has a Christian background, but would call herself spiritual today and then I realize where this positivity and innocence stems from and I can see it reflecting in her music and in her, as a person. From the start, I wanted to call this genre positive rock! I immediately associated it with the words Emocore or Emo rock and I would generally call it Feel-good-Music, according to the vibe and the melodies. You could also go so far and call it Indie-Electro and Rider could have massive success in Japan, as the music feels sometimes like the background of a video game. Still, the lyrics go much deeper than this general happy vibe…
This is so surreal
Sitting next to you up above the clouds is what we do
With green grass soft under our feet
A gentle warm breeze blowing through our hair, it’s ecstasy
You’re doing just fine don’t you worry about a thing at all…
I think of all the nights I cried out But now I understand that
I never really left you
I never left you
The song I NEVER LEFT YOU talks about Rider’s visions she had when meditating. It’s a very introspective ballade and has a silent subtlety to it. She sings about the pureness of love, but also the sadness that comes with it when it ends – it does though feel a bit strange to me to think that sadness can be happy…
But everyone is coping differently with relationship endings, depending also who left whom – Rider at least refuses to look at it from a dark place when it ends, but seeing the good and worth in it by embracing and accepting the messy feelings and trying to comfort herself with a thought like ‘’it’s all good and the person will always be with me, no matter what’’.
She loves to sing about love and relationships and the pain they can cause and admits later during the concert that relationships are the most important things in her life.
When HURTS ME TOO is coming up, it gets really interesting – I would call it the core piece of Riders being and struggle…
When I was taught to love another
You don’t love a girl like you should love a boy. Well they’re wrong
Dealing with her bisexuality must be especially hard for her when you think she was brought up with Christian values… it’s a coming out song and the painful feelings that accompany this process, but it is also liberating and Rider’s attempt here is clearly to emancipate herself with this song.
People with a clear belief system seem strong from the outside, as they don’t question things and it makes life easy and plain, but I am sure the moment you start to ask questions, because something in you feels not aligned and matched up with these rules, you also start to doubt this whole system and its values. Therefore I can imagine when you leave that world of safety and clarity, you would feel very lost and would have to reinvent yourself… and this journey can take a while…
With the song YOU, a song that will be released soon, Rider is yearning for love and loses herself within a whirlwind romance. She is a down to earth girl but fantasises going wild and passionate when falling in love or maybe she really is living her dreams and yearnings – sure thing is, you really hope for her in this song that he or she is the one!
Everything about Rider’s songs is very biographical and if maybe in her upbringing things were very restrictive, I can see the big yearning for freedom now, for living life to the fullest, experiencing it all, taking it all in and to get to know her new self better and all these very intense relationships just make total sense. Still, I would say that Rider combines the old and the new – the conservative and the liberated and this is an interesting mix.
At the end of the show Rider surprised the crowd with her song JUMP which is pure, classic rock and I would go so far and say Van Halen would be proud of her as the next generation of gamers or skaters that enjoy rock, but are a bit nerdy, shy and introspective, though can easily bloom in front of a crowd or on youtube – the crowd in the room totally loved that song, I can assure you on that one!
My favourite song and the one I thought was melodically the best was STAY, which will come out later this year – watch out for it! It’s a pure passion song that talks about friendship, turned for Rider into more and she tries to seduce her friend to ride the waves of love, but it might end up in unrequited love ;(
Life and love are tough guys! But Rider seems to always see the silver lining in it all, which is indeed enviable!
Find out more about Rider and what she’s up to here.