Flashbacks & Fantasies
If you caught Raffaela Weyman on one of her recent opening gigs for Carly Rae Jepsen, you know that the Toronto pop singer, who performs as Ralph, cuts a more playful figure than much of her music would suggest. But on her new EP, the icy ’80s synth-pop that typified previous efforts gives way to a warmer sound that’s equal parts disco and dance pop.
She’s flirted with this style before — “Gimme” from last year’s A Good Girl a prime example — but never embraced it as fully as she does here. “Last Time,” with its stuttering, staccato chorus, feels like a clear successor to that song, while the instrumental track for “Gravity” feels like a vintage house track.
Weyman has a knack for writing sticky choruses that reduce complex feelings and concepts into danceable sing-alongs. And even when tackling well-trodden subjects (hookups, breakups, questionable makeups) she makes sure to paint a picture with her own experiences and details.
Still, Weyman has always excelled when she introduces new settings and scenarios to her music. “Headphone Season” calls out the unwanted suggestions and advances from men, while “Sunday Girl” focuses on the morning after the club. Both feel more personal than anything else on the EP and are its true standouts because of it. (Independent)
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