Saturday, May 20, 2017

Ralph | Ralph

There's something about Canadian singer-songwriter Ralph that gives her the front of being simultaneously trendy and timeless. The magic is sparked when her voice, an admirable, pop-oriented echo of Stevie Nicks' pipes, meets her light, bouncing production, spiked with the same sensibility as the fuzzy, upbeat pop music that accompanied decades-old shopping mall commercials. When those two elements come together on the six tracks of Ralph's eponymous debut extended play, the product beams like the sun on a warm July afternoon.

Across the extended play, she teeters the line between commitment and indecisiveness in love. "Tease," a florescent highlight fueled by the undertones of a slinky '70s rhythm machine and a shimmering beat, finds her exposing a cheater after the promise of a ring, yet she does the heartbreaking herself when an urge for utter independence takes control on "Cold to the Touch" and "Something More."

In short, Ralph is an abridged profile of a young woman who struggles to decide whether she craves the hopeful fulfillment of monogamous love or the ecstasy found in being young and free of any ties to another. It plays out through infectious melodies and over the glossy bounce of retro-flavored pop music, leaving a sugary aftertaste and the desire for another fix. And luckily, this is only the beginning.

Ralph is available now under Wednesday Management.

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