Rykka (Christina Maria Rieder on her birth certificate) is a Swiss/Canadian singer/songwriter who — and this must be just so convenient on the ol’ travel schedule — splits her time between her hometown of Vancouver BC . . . and Zürich, Switzerland.
Most of us first heard of Rykka in 2012, with the release of her album Kodiak. Prior to that, she’d had some releases under the name Christina Maria. On Kodiak, each song is written from the perspective of a different animal. The lead single from that album, Blackie, is from a crow’s point of view.
The next year, she up and won the $102,700 grand prize of the Vancouver Peak Performance Project.
And now, she’s back with her new album, Beatitudes, released in Canada on November 4 by Victoria’s own Cordova Bay Records.
We first heard the lead single, Movies, last July. It starts with similar vocal chopping to Blackie, which is an effective method of tying the two albums together, especially for casual fans.
Rykka’s production is clear and tight, with the somewhat rare treat in modern music that most of her vocals are clear and easy to discern (and thus, sing along to). On songs like 100 Years, that clarity makes it easy to remember to embrace the moment because, in a hundred years, memories of us will be long gone, “so give me this kiss.”
Song-by-song, Rykka’s musical variety remains consistent from Kodiak, flowing from upbeat, bouncy pop-flavoured tunes like Bad Boy and Runnin’ Away to high-energy rock/pop hybrids like Movies.
But they also easily transition into more emotional musical scapes with songs like 100 Years, Tikiti Boo, and Last Of Our Kind, which might be one of her most recognizable songs worldwide, as she sang that while representing Switzerland in the second semifinal of Eurovision 2016.
It’s a long way from this one-person performance of The Brink at The Zone three years back.
Rykka performs at Lucky Bar on Saturday, November 12. Rocktographers will be there. See you for high fives!