There is clear evolution through Rhiannon’s nine-year career. A shift away from the lively, acoustic-roots feel of her first duo Rita Payne, through to a period of introspective, poignant songs where she developed her voice as a lyricist. Now working with a grittier, more raw sound, she maintains her beautiful and sometimes uncomfortable lyrics, experimenting with a growing collection of world-class musicians, their combined sound converging at the point where dirty distorted guitars meet jazz trumpets, live strings and drum machines.
Earlier in her career, Rhiannon made up one half of the acoustic foot-stompers Rita Payne. Writing and arranging the band’s music, you can hear her unmistakable guitar style providing the foundation to singer Pete Sowerby’s lyrics. Rita Payne began in 2011 seeing them release two critically acclaimed albums: Stories From A Suitcase (2012) and We’re Getting There, Aren’t We? (2014). Famous for their soaring vocal harmonies and on stage chemistry, the duo achieved great success in their short tenure, gaining loyal fans such as Martin Simpson, Richard Hawley and John McClure until Rhiannon’s departure from the duo in 2015.
Influenced by Ani DiFranco’s percussive guitar style and Lindsey Buckingham’s rapid fingerpicking, Rhiannon’s unique guitar technique has often garnered attention. Together with her charismatic stage presence and emotive lyrics, she has stood alone as a captivating performer without need of supporting instrumentation.
As an urge to collaborate with other artists and extend her sound outside her own capabilities has grown; through experimentation, play, and an impressive array of accomplished musical collaborators, Rhiannon has developed a new sound, and through that, an intriguing collection of new work.
Think the tender lyrics of Adrienne Lenker, the syncopated electronic rhythms of Sylvan Esso and the witchy magic of Stevie Nicks.
Rhiannon’s solo career has seen her self publish EP#9. Where a choice to only sell physical copies rather than having online access of this release meant an instant sellout of the first run, requiring a second, and now a third reprint.
She is now working towards her next release, due September 2020.