Pop Artist Rafferty Releases Debut Single “Apple Pie”
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Pop artist Rafferty has just released his debut single “Apple Pie” through music service Spotify. On July 11th, the tune premiered on Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio show at 3:30PM Pacific Time, and it was released on Spotify several hours later.
As far as career history goes, Rafferty is about as fresh as you can get. On his SoundCloud account, “Apple Pie” is the only track he’s released, and he doesn’t have any videos posted on his YouTube account. If you scan his Twitter account, you’ll find that links to past released tracks, interviews, and photos no longer work. It appears that Rafferty has completely streamlined his social media presence to fit the release of “Apple Pie”, which seems official when you consider its premiere on Beats 1 and its availability on Spotify.
One of Rafferty’s tweets reveals that his producer is Jeff Bhasker, who received the 2016 Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical for his co-production of Mark Ronson’s studio album Uptown Special. If that title sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve heard the tune “Uptown Funk” played all over the radio a million times over. Jeff Bhasker contributed to the production of that track! If he currently works with Rafferty, we’re likely to hear more of the pop artist and his music in due time.
“Apple Pie” is certainly an energetic debut single. The most prominent and distinctive feature is the vocals. Rafferty has a deep and soulful voice that slightly reminds me of soul pop artists such as Hozier or Lorde. If he were to pursue soul pop in his future musical ventures, I believe that he would encounter massive success. The second vocal component of “Apple Pie” is gang vocals, which appear significantly in both the verses, the chorus, and the bridge—in other words, throughout the entire track. In the verses, we hear “Hey!”, in the chorus we hear “Ahhh-ahhh-ahhhhhh”, and in the bridge we hear Rafferty’s lines exchanged in a vocal echo. Personally, I find the background vocals somewhat generic and uncreative. There’s only so much you can do with the interplay between lead and background vocals. If more was done to highlight Rafferty’s vocal talent in particular, I would find the vocals of “Apple Pie” more enjoyable.
However, I consider the production of “Apple Pie” to be pretty good. The approach the producer takes to the sound of the track is noteworthy. The first verse and the first chorus mostly focus on the vocals, with little instrumentation behind them save for the claps and the electronic drumbeats. However, the second first and the second chorus add a small organ piece, a fixed drumbeat from real drums, and some electric guitar inclusion to the mix. This instrumental buildup gives a more complete feel to “Apple Pie” that I like. By the end of the track, it feels like a full-fledged tune.
Overall, I think “Apple Pie” is a solid debut single. With some more characterization that would distinguish him from other soul pop artists out there, Rafferty could definitely see some success in the mainstream music scene. Give “Apple Pie” a listen on YouTube below.