Claire Ridgely is a singer/songstress, that I first covered when I came across her single “Gunshot” all the way back in September 2019, however, recently Eat This Music sat down with Claire Ridgely to talk about her latest single “Can We Be Friends?“; what I came to discover is that Claire writes and creates indie pop music. Claire also draws inspiration from her own experiences to create stories in her songs that are genuine and relatable. Claire is also currently based in Montreal, but originally she is from Northern Virginia.
However, before we get to the new song, Claire tells Eat This Music how lucky she is at the moment to be cooped up with her boyfriend, who is also a studio engineer, so they keep their sanity by churning out new material without many obstacles. Claire definitely has been missing the company of her friends though.
“I love my boyfriend, but I miss connecting with other people, too. I love creating music at home, but it is bizzare to have a question mark as far as when I’ll be able to sing in front of other people again.” Claire Ridgely on spending time in quarantine.
“It’s been nice to get real quiet during isolation,” Claire reveals to Eat This Music. She is also checking in with herself more and really appreciating every little thing. Claire is just counting her blessings and realising how much she really do have in life. Her usual speed of life is “go, go, go”, but in isolation she is realising that she doesn’t need too much to be happy.
This brings us to the release of Claire Ridgely’s aforementioned single “Can We Be Friends”. “This song tells the story from my own childhood, where I escaped a threatening interaction with an older man on my way home from school. The song tells this story from the man’s point of view”, Claire tells Eat This Music.
Well, the song is entirely about Claire’s own experience as a young girl, so, definitely her own life played a huge part in the creation of the single. Claire co-wrote this song with her friend, and talented musician, Oren. Oren asked Claire if there was anything in her childhood that stood out, any memories that came to mind, while they were brainstorming the lyrics for this song and this was the story that came to mind first. Claire didn’t realise how big a part of herself this story was until that happened.
The song allowed Claire the opportunity to work through childhood trauma. Claire wrote the song as a way to heal. “I wanted to write about this subject as a way to give that experience new meaning and take power back”, she reveals to Eat This Music. While the man in Claire’s childhood tried to remove her power, writing this song was therapeutic and allowed Claire to control the narrative and give me back her voice.
Claire was expecting to release her EP around this time, and Claire loves being able to release new music and connect to people through her songs, so Claire really wanted to be able to still release something right now. Claire has been listening to a lot of music during this time and she knows how helpful and comforting it can be, so she wanted to be able to offer that to people and hopefully make them feel better about what is going on around us right now.
“Can We Be Friends?” was created at a song-writing camp with her production team, which they have done once before, and going into it her team wanted to write some songs for Claire’s upcoming EP. There were four of them in their home studio: two producers, Pops and Poolboy (from Canadian band, Clay and Friends), and Oren (currently releasing music under Oscar Louis), the other lyricist. The four of them started the song from scratch and built off of each other. Pops started with the bass line and then Poolboy began to build the beat and drums around it. As that was all happening, Claire and Oren were going back and forth and deciding on melodies. Claire’s previous single “Busy Body” also came out of a song-writing camp in a similar way. This release was different from most of Claire’s other singles in that almost everything was roughly laid down within a day, from the beat to the vocals. The song knew what it wanted to be.
“This song is an upbeat indie pop tune, with some notable funk influence. It’s a song that you can really dance to and it feels so good to be able to dance to something that was once traumatic and heavy,” Claire tells Eat This Music on “Can We Be Friends?”
The remainder of 2020 looks to be an interesting time for Claire Ridgely as she has her EP in the works for the Fall, which is definitely a huge focus right now. Also, since Claire lives with her producer and her guitarist, they are finetuning her live shows right now at home. Claire is really excited to have a super-polished set for people when they can finally perform live again.