EP Review | Self Release | Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5
When musical partners Rhiannon Scutt and Pete Sowerby, otherwise known as Rita Payne, parted company a couple of years ago, the news came as a bit of a shock and with a fair deal of sadness. This seemingly perfectly formed duo, with instantly recognisable melodies and unmistakable vocal harmonies, rose in local popularity like lightning, swiftly progressing from reliable support act to headliners almost overnight. One life lesson learnt a long time ago though, is that you should never take sides in a divorce and it was relatively easy to watch Rhiannon continue as a solo singer songwriter and performer, occasionally dipping into the curious world of Devo, as part of a tribute act to that particular band, whilst Pete continued with the expanded Rita Payne. Named after the Sheffield cafe where the EP was recorded, #9 offers a handful of new original songs using musicians who had up until this point never heard the material before. A live jam then, with one or two rough edges, compensated by the vibrancy of a live off the floor performance. It’s not the tightest recording of Rhiannon’s career thus far, but it’s probably her most honest and true; ‘Beautifully imperfect’ is the way Rhiannon describes it. With songs such as the delicate “I Swim” and the highly personal “Waging War”, Rhiannon demonstrates her own resilience as a surviving solo artist, with a promising future just around the corner.