Nov 18, 2022
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Vanessa Heins
Over the past few years, Canadian singer/songwriter and producer Billy Raffoul has been carrying the torch for anthemic rock songwriting, infusing potent instrumental heights with emotive performances and an unvarnished touch of soul melody. He debuted in 2018 with his EP, 1975, followed by 2019’s Running Wild EP and a pair of full-length records in 2020, A Few More Hours at YYZ and International Hotel.
Raffoul has also kept up this prolific streak over the pandemic, sharing another new EP, Born to Die, and collaborating with his longtime creative partners, Justin Zuccato and Mike Crossey. These sessions formed the pieces of another upcoming EP, due out next year. Today, Raffoul is sharing his latest effort with another new track, “I Wish You Were Here,” along with an accompanying live video, premiering with Under the Radar.
“I Wish You Were Here” strips Raffoul’s songwriting back to its barest and most plaintive essentials, delivering a spot-lit piano ballad carried by Raffoul himself. Raffoul hits many of the same notes as other talented weathered-voiced songwriters, most especially recalling Springsteen, but he also captures a weary reflective element that cuts especially deep. Raffoul’s vocals carry the weight of the lyrics’ pain, tracing a heart-wrenching confession of loss and grief一“Oh my dear without you here it’s been one hell of a year/Counting tears, stacking up fears will they ever disappear/I wish you were here.”
Raffoul says of the track, “My brother and I wrote this song together at the beginning of 2022. It’s a song about loss, a feeling that everyone experiences at one point or another. It’s safe to say these last few years have been tougher than most and we wanted to write something that would hopefully make those who are grieving feel less alone.”
Check out the song and live video below, out everywhere now via Nettwerk.