A sunny day translated into uplifting folk.
Being able to keep marching forward with positive and uplifting soulful folk music during 2020 must have been a bit of an ask for Gitta De Ridder. ‘To Our Children’ is a larger uplifting and wise collection of folk pop tracks that raise your spirits and gives the listener a call to action to think of the future.
‘To Our Children’ is a largely acoustic guitar-based album as each track features the warm instrument heavily but it rarely is left sparse. For example, ‘Man of the Light’ has uplifting trumpet sections over clever use of shakers and man-made percussive loops to create a soothing ballad that could party in the field at the same time. ‘Soul Brothering, Soul Sistering’ has a foot stomp and handclap beat to allow Gitta to layer vocals like a small choir over to ask you to look after one another. The album has some really wholesome messages without ever feeling like its beating you around the head with it.
It isn’t all happy-clappy though. ‘The Clearing’ is a stunningly rich acoustic guitar, vocal and foot stomp track that is up there with the best folk songs I’ve heard in years. The guitar is processed through various different filters to turn it from a warm stringed instrument to something more mysterious and percussive like a hammered dulcimer. The whole track is like a mystical Latin tale. ‘To Wonder’ is equally interesting but goes full country. The way the song sways between chords and Gitta’s voice follows the guitar is mesmerising. Ballad ‘Hypothetical You or I’ showcases that if you place just Ridder’s voice and strings together – you’ll have a powerhouse of a breakup song too.
Flipping tone entirely, the cute ‘Traces of Gold’ leans into the Dutch homeland of Gitta with playful chants and a bouncy oboe that makes for an uplifting pub dance. It is a cute bounce back to the early third of the album where the tone was happier and more positive about the world. The title of the album refers to the beautifully cute and endearing closing track though. ‘Sing A Song, Sing Along’ features a children’s choir that all sound like they are primed to Disney over a folk track. Add in some thumb piano and you have some of the most wholesome music of 2020. Definitely one for the charity adverts!
Whilst it is short at just half an hour, ‘To Our Children’ is packed with love, warmth, reflection and introspection about how we can do better by others. To those of us who love dark folk and baring our bleeding souls every second minor chord, it is a great antidote. That is because it never feels trite or cheesy – its just one woman who wants us to love ourselves a little more for the future of the world. Complete with foot taps, handclaps and some killer choruses.
Recommended track: Man of the Light
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