Teen Ravine is a Toronto-based duo whose debut single, “Friend of a Friend”, is ear candy from the get-go, with wistful vocals and melodically caressing keys building toward an illuminated synth-tinged hook that merges nostalgic sophisti-pop with an effervescent fondness for vintage synth-pop, akin to the production of Mitch Murder. There’s also an anthemic quality in the vocal performance, especially as the hook hits, that reminds of an airier Springsteen. And yeah — that sax solo after the two-minute mark is apt-as-hell and pure bliss. I’m really digging this one.
The duo, Nick Rose and Dan Griffin, tackle a familiar sentiment on this track and throughout their upcoming debut album, being the desire to get close but not too close — which they refer to as “the hallmark of a generation’s struggle with the desire for, and fear of, intimacy.” The album was created during a rough patch, when Rose parted ways with a long-term girlfriend and Griffin was recovering from a tramautic brain injury that limited him to a dark room for a year. Their musical collaboration was partly a form of recovery, which results in a beautiful melding of soft-rock, synth-pop, and R&B, citing influences as wide as Christopher Cross, Sade, Michael McDonald, Paul Simon, Fleetwood Mac and Paul McCartney. Look out for the rest of the album this fall.