So, I finally got to listen to Riddy Arman’s self-titled album from 2021 the other day.
He had been on my list for a while because I heard his song “Too Late to Write a Love Song” and fell in love with his nasal voice and honest lyrics.
Of course, while I was listening, I was trying to make connections between the songs and the lyrics because I have a problem, and I can’t help it.
But I was able to find an interesting contradiction that I felt we could all relate to.
Many of her songs are about the need for human connection and the desire for isolation, which seem paradoxical, but I actually quite identify with the feelings she invokes.
I’m absolutely introverted, and I used to joke that I hated being around people because I didn’t like them.
It took me a long time and a few good friends to realize that while I still needed space and the sanctity of isolation, I don’t hate people.
I just needed a way to deal with the loneliness.
What I find so beautiful about Riddy Arman’s songs is that she seems to deal with these complicated feelings too.
In the song “Help Me Through the Night”, a Kris Kristofferson cover, Arman sings that he needs someone just for the night because the time between days can be so long when you’re alone:
“Because tonight I need a friend
Yesterday is dead and gone
And tomorrow is out of sight
It’s so sad to be alone…”
“Barbed Wire” seems to enjoy the isolation of being a cowboy, going so far as to claim that isolation and nature can be the reason someone would want to become a cowboy:
“Maybe we become a cowboy for the open sky
He never asks for more than he is able to provide…”
Now, “Both of My Hands” shows the progression between these two songs.
It shows the singer being alone in a house with only herself to pass a bottle, and the isolation is starting to make her feel like she’s drowning.
The entire album is filled with contradictions about the beauty of isolation and nature (i.e. “Old Maid’s Draw”) and the necessity of this isolation from a toxic environment (i.e. say “Problems of My Own”), implying that isolation isn’t always a choice.
Even the album’s breakup songs show how lonely isolation can be released even when you still want to be with the other person (e.g. “Too Late to Write a Love Song”)
“Away from our old home
It was too bad with your leaving
Missing the sunrise in the windows…”
I think everyone should listen to this album because it tries to unpack the very human feelings of wanting to feel connection and being in love with also wanting to be independent and just be with ourselves.
Riddy Arman is a beautiful album and has a very classic country sound that is perfect for sitting on the back porch and absorbing on a nice day.