While we’re all still trying wake up from the seemingly dystopian nightmare we’ve been dumped into, Toronto’s RALPH is doing quite the opposite—sinking in further into her bed to free fall into a different dream altogether—where glam isn’t just a word that precedes her pop music, it’s the whole damn mood.
With her new single, “Tommy,” the first to be dropped from her upcoming new EP, Gradience, the disco era enthusiast wades deeper into the waters of her nostalgic 70s and 80s inspirations, subtly mixing in the pastel hues with her signature brightly colored neons.
With an energy that’s largely driven by a funky guitar riff, “Tommy” tries hard to stand back behind the line, as if scared to let its predecessor’s synths and electronic influences (“Gravity”) overwhelm its delicate melody. But while its production never hardens past a snapping percussion, it’s RALPH’s performance that sends up the same luminous sparks that made her initial debut so enticing to follow. Much like her Marie Antoinette inspired character in the curiously dramatic music video, she exudes both a relatable softness and an unattainable confidence; a teasing “Tommy, do you want me?” chorus is sung with a cheeky smile, momentarily forgetting that this person she’s singing about slipped right through her fingers and instead giving in to the thrill of this invisible chase. It’s subtle, but “Tommy”‘s reach is undeniable, and even if it is all just a dream, at least it’s one you won’t want to wake up from anytime soon.
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