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Freya Ridings on mining heartbreak for new song ‘Weekends’ and second album

'I was very happy on the outside, but inside I was dying because I missed that person so much,' says Freya Ridings of her emotional comeback

By Nick Reilly

Freya Ridings (Picture: Press)

As Freya Ridings returns with new track ‘Weekends’, the singer has told Rolling Stone UK how one of the darkest chapters of her personal life inspired the new song.

The comeback track from the ‘Lost Without You’ singer sees an upbeat sound being paired against the experiences of her first album, when chart success proved to be a marked contrast to her own personal life.

“It was one of the first songs I wrote for this album when I was in a very different headspace, when I was very heartbroken and lonely. It was one of the best times in my career, the shows had been getting bigger after years of playing small open mic spots,” she explained.

“But it did have an effect on my relationships, it puts a lot of distance on things and I ended up going through a break-up while these amazing things were happening. It was so surreal because I was playing these shows, but then scanning the crowd in the hope he’d be there.”

Ridings admits she was initially scared to explore the emotional experience, but co-writer and producer Steve Mac encouraged her to push boundaries.

She added: “He just said to me ‘what’s the scariest thing you’ve admitted to yourself recently’. I sang him the chorus and he said at once ‘we’re doing that’. I fought it, but it rose out of the ground from the melancholic to the euphoric.

“I came back to it and it then seemed like a real marker of where I was at that time. I was very happy on the outside playing Glastonbury, but on the inside I was kind of dying because I missed that person so much.”

It’s the first track to emerge from her anticipated second album Blood Orange, which is released later this year. Hailing the “bitter and sweet” of the record, Ridings said: “The pain and break-up was self-inflicted, it’s me looking inwards to take responsibility for my part in it. Breaking up with someone who I loved and then regretting it massively, which is what the first half of this album is about. That half is bitter, but the second half is sweet.”

A sweetness extending to her own life as well. She reunited with partner Ewan J Phillips in 2020 and tied the knot with him late last year.

“It felt like a lot of forbidden fruit in one record,” she sayd.

“For those eighteen months we weren’t together, I felt like we were really suffering. But in lockdown he helped me produce some of the songs I’d written about him! So there’s a slight Fleetwood Mac element to it, which I really love because I love the 70s and that kind of writing where you can hear the truth in someone’s voice.”

And for fans of tracks such as ‘Lost Without You’ and ‘Castles’, Ridings promises there’s plenty of her older sound in there too.

“The first album is gothic and melancholic, whereas here it’s upbeat too. There’s three or four ballads that I can’t play without crying. They are little time portals and they just take you back to that moment. This album is a mix of the two. It’s melancholic, yet euphoric too.”