A brave move that links to a very personal sense of healing...

Musician and Game of Thrones actor Raleigh Ritchie, aka Jacob Anderson, has shared his new album ‘Andy’, the follow up to his warmly received 2016 debut ‘You’re A Man Now, Boy’. Introspective and bold, ‘Andy’ is named after a nickname that Ritchie’s grandfather was given and one that he now has.

Alternative R&B and pop album ‘Andy’ features cathartic lyrics that discuss Ritchie’s insecurities. Sonically, this album sees Ritchie maturing and becoming more confident in his sound.

Opening track ‘Pressure’ is accompanied by strings and is a very honest account of the things he stresses over. Raleigh Ritchie articulates his guilt at not being vegan and not recycling enough, among other things (“I’m a hypocrite”).

Previous single ‘Time In A Tree’ is about the complexities of being in ‘a busy state of mind’. He sings about having an “anxious heart”. The track is cinematic with a vintage-sounding chorus. There’s a gentle, romantic vibe to ‘Time In A Tree’. It’s also emotional and his vulnerability shines through (“Hurt myself too many times to count”).

Another previous single, ‘Aristocrats’ is infectious as Ritchie explores his identity within British culture and history from the perspective of a POC. The track has sweeping orchestral sections. Meanwhile, the relatable ‘Party Fear’ discusses social anxiety where he sings “I don’t want to be here / I just want to disappear” followed by “I’ve been trapped inside my head”. At times the lyrics can be achingly honest but the production is experimental and interesting enough to keep them from sounding depressing.

‘Andy’ sees Raleigh Ritchie being completely open with his listeners. It seems as though making the album was a healing process for him and it’s a rarity to see someone leave themselves so vulnerable. 

7/10

Words: Narzra Ahmed

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