Photo: Frank Ockenfels
Billy Raffoul’s voice is one that screams eternal, hinting at the deeper inner workings lying behind the seemingly simple. The Canadian artist has received widespread critical acclaim for his raspy, timeless voice, and his debut EP 1975 proves he is more than just a mesmerizing voice.
The six-track EP is refreshingly sincere. Most of 1975 sees Raffoul’s soulful voice backed by modest instrumentation, often his empathic electric or acoustic guitar. Yet, at no point does 1975 ever feel sparse. Raffoul’s prowess lies in the way is he able to fill a space with the barest of elements. Take “Until The Hurting Is Gone,” a moving meditation on the permanence of love through all conditions, which draws forth a wellspring of emotion solely on the strengths of Raffoul’s ageless voice, straightforward lyricism, an acoustic, and a charming piano accompaniment.
Photo: Jesse De Florio
1975’s standout track is the beautifully unapologetic “I’m Not a Saint.” Anthemic, vulnerable, and deeply sincere, it’s Raffoul at its best. It’s the crystallization of the underlying sentiment that makes up 1975, amplified ten-fold. Never hiding behind overly-clever production techniques or superfluous furnishings, lyrically or sonically, 1975 paints a brutally honest portrait of Raffoul as a genuine artist.
It’s a notion expertly touched upon in the aptly-titled “Acoustic,” as Raffoul croons, “We don’t have to get so theatrical / ‘Cause you know even simple can be special.” While the song is directed at a lover, it may as well be the sonic personification of Raffoul’s approach to music–simple yet so special.
Listen to 1975 below:
For more Billy Raffoul, revisit our All Eyes On performance with the timeless voice: