Tucked away in the vast hills and deep lakes near Zürich, Switzerland, and in the Canadian wilderness surrounding Vancouver, Rykka has been honing her next sound.

She has been on a wild ride since the release of her 2013 album Kodiak. That same year, she won the prestigious Peak Performance Project competition and made multiple tours across Canada and Europe.

Change is a constant for the multitalented songwriter, who started as an acoustic folk artist under her name Christina Maria before reinventing herself as Rykka and emerging with an alternative pop bang. Since then, her restless ambition has driven her underground where she has been writing feverishly using keyboards and drum machines. She has split her time between Switzerland and Canada, sometimes traveling to Los Angeles and London for co-writing sessions.

Having stockpiled over a hundred demos, she brought the best of these songs to producer Warne Livesey, with whom she hunkered down in Toronto’s Coalition Music studios, located in a building that used to be a convent.
The resulting album is Beatitudes, which marks a thrilling leap in a bold new direction for Rykka. Its towering hooks come bolstered by dazzling synths and beats tailor-made for dropping sweat on the dance floor. “Movies” is a breath-catching whirlwind of chopped-up vocal melodies, slinky grooves and seductive mega-choruses, while “Runnin’ Away” ventures into hip-hop terrain with its throbbing 808 programming, and “Shapes in the Dark” is a full-blown banger with thumping four-on-the-floor rhythms.

The overhauled production approach highlights the depth of Rykka’s songwriting: “Bad Boy” is a soaring portrait of doomed romance, while “100 Years” is a open-hearted examination mortality in which the vocalist sweetly sighs, “I want to live to in the present / Rather burn out brightly than live forever fading.”

Beatitudes takes its title from the Latin word for “happiness” and shares its name with eight blessings from the bible, although Rykka’s use of the term is secular. “Beatitudes is about empowering the underdog,” she reflects. “Good and evil lines are blurred, and staying true to ourselves is our only real compass.”


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