On her self-titled debut EP, Toronto's Ralph combines the jangly rock and smokey vibes of Stevie Nicks with deconstructed disco. Fans of Carly Rae Jepsen's love letters to pop music will find similar soundscapes in Ralph, which isn't surprising when you learn that the fellow Canadians are labelmates.
Take "Tease," a narrative track about a local fuck boy playing multiple girls and fooled by his own perception of his coolness. Modern lyrics like "I'll confess your sweet talk had me weak in the knees / But my friend got the same text, cut and copied" contextualize the song in the now, but the twinkling, synth-y post chorus places "Tease" and other moments from the EP within trendy, 80s-flourished indie pop.
However, something about Ralph's songs feels plugged into a different, less jaded era. "Lit The Fire," the set's power ballad closer, is tailor-made for lighters up moments with its sweeping drums and Ralph's pleading delivery. Meanwhile on "Busy Man," Ralph begs for affection from a distracted lover with towering beats, fingersnaps, and the audible slide of a guitar chord changes. "Something More" is equally pulsating, capturing the tug-of-war of 'what ifs?' in a romantic entanglement.
The EP is six songs of perfection. If they're any indication of the damage Ralph will do in 2017... wreck it, Ralph!