Review : JJ WIlde & Billy Raffoul – Born To Die EP (2021)


JJ Wilde is a JUNO-Award winning Canadian rock singer from Kitchener, Ontario and Billy Raffoul is a SOCAN Award winning Canadian rock singer-songwriter from Leamington, Ontario. The two joined together towards the end of last year to release a three track EP named `Born To Die`. Raffoul explains, “These three songs have so much variety between them. ‘Born To Die’ is an anthemic rock song, while at the opposite end of the spectrum there’s ‘Colours,’ a soft autumn-themed track. Bridging the two is ‘Let Me Go,’ which is sonically powerful and gut-wrenching.”

Adds Wilde, “These are pretty emotional songs, in the best way. There are love songs and there’s heartache. We’re both big fans of rock and roll and you can hear it when we’re singing both separately and together on this EP.”

This extended play opens with title track ‘Born To Die’ which is a declaration of endless love. Wilde`s vocal leads us in before Raffoul joins and the music really burst to life. It`s a breathtakingly powerful duet and the respective singers vocal deliveries really complement each other as it progresses. There`s a captivating part in the latter section where both singers allow each other space to quietly respond to each other and we have a brief segment at the end where there`s some enchanting handclapping leading us out.

We have a quiet drum beat and reverential guitar chords that allows a platform for the singers to really soak up all the touching sentiment on ‘Let Me Go’ . A heart breaking tale of the aftermath of the end of a relationship shared from each partner`s perspective. It`s a song that will certainly resonate with those of us who have come through a similar experience.

We close out with `Colours` a gently shared accolade to a loving relationship and acknowledging what each of the participants mean to and bring out of each other. The number allows each of the singers the opportunity to share their own vocal style which really blends so well together.

I loved `Born To Die` but three tracks just isn`t enough to quench my thirst for more. These artists individually can create a wonderful cacophony of sound but together they seem to bring it to another level. I really hope this brief taster of what they can create as a twosome, will lead to a full blown album. Here`s hoping.

Rating 9/10

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