Adding a narrative-driven earworm to her glistening discography, ‘Fella’ consolidates Mollie Ralph as the Polaris among soul stars-in-waiting from Nottingham and beyond.
Written in under 30 minutes last summer, the latest single from the Future Sound of Nottingham finalist immediately grabs with sauntering storytelling that reflects the off-the-cuff flow of her lyrical process. Clean, trilling guitars remain the constant as the saunter becomes a stroll, and Ralph’s voice boldens from apprehension to demand for a love without caveat.
There’s nothing cryptic about the story to be told on Fella, as Ralph puts it simply: “It has a message which I feel will resonate with a lot of people: being desperate for loyalty in a relationship, which in this day and age can be tricky to be find.” But while Fella’s heart is firmly on its sleeve lyrically, the gorgeous, yet measured and not overstated instrumentation has tricks further up the cuff that only build the chandelier grandeur of the affair. Following a second verse in which our narrator finds promise in a virtuous admirer, the Winehouse-esque hook finds splash-of-colour horns behind its dazzling lead vocal, mirroring the sparks of gallantry in the narrative.
"Where Old Café was full of charm and promise, Mollie Ralph’s recent two singles have star potential beyond the 0115."
Impressive still is that Fella is a local production, recorded with Rofl Audio in Nottingham by a team who have become family to Ralph, having brought previous releases Traitor and Old Café to life. The way Mollie’s material invariably shines with all of the lights of Manhattan, yet the only landmark visible from their Perth Street studios is the Victoria Centre (on a clear day) speaks to the talent of the producers there in creating a sound with the capability to break markets worldwide.
Where Old Café was full of charm and promise, Mollie Ralph’s recent two singles have star potential beyond the 0115. And for an artist with a longstanding tenacity on the live circuit and a sound refined both on the stage and in the studio, success is well deserved. At this point, it might even be inevitable.
Fella is available on all platforms tomorrow. Readers can exclusively hear the track here now.