So, I finally got around to listening to Riddy Arman’s self-titled album from 2021 the other day.
It had been on my list for a while because I heard her song “Too Late to Write a Lovesong” and fell in love with her twangy voice and honest lyrics.
Of course, as I was listening, I was attempting make connections between the songs and lyrics because I have a problem, and I can’t help myself.
But I was able to find an interesting contradiction that I felt we can all relate to.
Many of her songs speak to the need for human connection and the desire for isolation, which seem paradoxical, but I actually relate to the feelings she invokes quite a bit.
I am absolutely an introvert, and I used to joke that I hated to be around people because I don’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 cope with being lonely.
What I find so beautiful about Riddy Arman’s songs is that she also seems to be dealing with these complicated feelings.
In the song “Help Me Through the Night,” a Kris Kristofferson cover, Arman sings about needing somebody just for the night because the time between days can be so long when you’re alone:
“‘Cause tonight I need a friend Yesterday is dead and gone And tomorrow’s out of sight It’s so sad to be alone…”
“Barbed Wire” seems to relish in the isolation of being a cowboy, going so far as to claim that isolation and nature may be why someone would want to become a cowboy:
“Maybe one becomes a cowboy for the open sky It never asks for nothing more than he’s 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 between and that isolation is starting to make her feel like drowning.
The whole album is filled with contradictions about the beauty of isolation and nature (i.e., “Old Maid’s Draw”) and the necessity of said isolation from a toxic environment (i.e., “Problems of My Own”), implying that isolation isn’t always a choice.
Even the breakup songs on the album show how freeing isolation can be even when you still want to be with the other person (i.e., “Too Late to Write a Love Song”)
“Moved away from our old home It felt to wrong with you gone Miss the sunrise in the windows…”
I think everyone should listen to this album because it attempts to unpack the very human feelings of wanting to feel a connection and be in love with also wanting to be independent and be only with ourselves.
Riddy Arman is a beautiful album and has a very classic country sound that is perfect to sit on the back porch and absorb on a beautiful day.