The club will always be a good place for an artist to introduce new music. The same can be said about the disco. But the true proving ground for pop recordings is the roller rink. If you can make people with wheels on their feet move to your song, you know you’ve got something special. Cat Ridgeway is surrounded by roller skaters in the video for “Sweet Like Candy,” her latest single. The Florida singer-songwriter also takes her tune to the skatepark, and there, she receives a similar welcome. The world around her is a riot of motion, velocity, color, and celebration. With the wide and genuine smile that has become her trademark, she stands still with her guitar, strums, and sings.
And when she sings, the whole world turns faster. She’s got a pulse-quickening, heart-racing, dynamic, magical voice that’s ideally suited for dramatic gestures and acrobatic melodies. “Sweet Like Candy” evokes Motown, cosmopolitan country, and contemporary pop — and she holds it all together masterfully, guiding the listener from a welcoming verse to an explosive, celebratory chorus that feels like a homecoming. It’s not inaccurate to call the song a cornerstone of Nice To Meet You, her endlessly ingratiating and effortlessly exciting full-length set, but it is a bit misleading because it implies that some of the songs on the set are more important than others. With Cat Ridgeway, everything is a highlight.
Since its 2020 release, Nice To Meet You has received the sort of press notice that only accrues to the best records. Grateful Web called the album brilliant, Highway 81 Revisited praised Ridgeway’s distinctive amalgam of blues, rock, R&B, and pop; Glide waxed ecstatic about the artist’s vocals, Tip Jar lauded the stellar songwriting. She’s shared bills with Shawn Mullins, Arcade Fire, Leon Bridges, Brandi Carlile, The Indigo Girls, Jason Isbell, and Marty Balin of The Jefferson Airplane, and impressed audiences and fellow entertainers everywhere she’s gone.
The “Sweet Like Candy” clip demonstrates why. It’s rare to find a young artist who is simultaneously commanding and approachable, dizzyingly skilled yet also instantly sympathetic and identifiable. Her rapport with the skaters around her is real: she respects their talent, just as they respect hers. She’s inviting us into a world of boundless energy – a realm of soul, sound, passion, and playful seduction.