Gruff singer goes it alone

Jenny Ritter performs at Victoria’s Solstice Cafe, 529 Pandora Ave., on Oct. 4 and 5.

Jenny Ritter celebrates her new solo record Bright Mainland at Solstice Cafe this week.

This October, Jenny Ritter’s long-awaited solo project surfaces, and you’re going to want to be right there with your rod and net for her Victoria performance at the Solstice Cafe.

Ritter is a well-known singer songwriter from the westcoast, perhaps best known as co-founder of The Gruff, and the creator and director of East Vancouver indie-rock choir, The Kingsgate Chorus.

Her new release Bright Mainland, is a record five months in the making, chronicling the past three years of the writer’s life, in which she moved from Vancouver Island to the mainland, chasing love and opportunity.

The music itself, much like Ritter’s feelings about living in the city, is hard to pin down. Threads of acoustic guitar and viola interweave with pedal steel, electric guitars, and steady, heavy drums. There’s a distinct alt-country feel to the album’s aesthetic, while the chord progressions take on an older more traditional folk feel. Overtop of all of this, Ritter’s voice navigates complicated, soaring melodies with surprising simplicity and sweetness.

The record is flooded with talent from western Canada’s folk and Indie elite including Adrian Dolan (The Bills/Ruth Moody Band)  who is both producer and multi-instrumentalist, while Lucas Goetz (The Deep Dark Woods) rounds out the band with drums and pedal steel.

Featured guests include Ryan Boeur (Fish & Bird), Bear Erickson (Ona) and David Newberry.

There are also appearances by Ritter’s brainchild, The Kingsgate Chorus.

Ritter performs with Newberry at Victoria’s Solstice Cafe, 529 Pandora Ave., on Oct. 4 and 5, doors at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $12, with a limited number of advance tickets available at Solstice Cafe.

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