On Our Radar: Ranj Singh's "Restless Nights" finds the right balance while paying tribute to a fallen loved one

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      Dear Sweet Jesus, get the Kleenex ready, especially if you’re at the point where you just need this year to end.

      Noting that 2020 has been a bit of a rough one is kind of like bringing up how much it rains in Vancouver in the fall. Some things are so depressingly obvious, there’s no need to bum everyone out by talking about them.

      At the same time, it’s more important than ever to know that you’re not alone. Especially since—with lockdown a thing once again--many of us actually are, except for the weekly grocery, liquor store, and cannabis dispensary run. And it doesn’t help that it's that time of year when the days are getting so short the city looks like a real-life staging of 30 Days of Night.

      All of this dovetails into the reason we’re here for this installment of On Our Radar: Ranj Singh’s new “Restless Nights”, which is one of those rare cases where a video is as moving as the song it was created for.

      You want a line that pretty much sums up what most of us will likely remember as the worst year of our lives? That's delivered right off the top with “It’s been too damn long to be without your embrace”. From there “Restless Nights” is pure melancholy magic, the warmth of Singh’s gold-shimmer acoustic guitar counterbalanced by vocals mixing painful longing with a down-but-not-destroyed hopefulness.

      Doing a brilliant job in illustrating this in the video is Peca Petrovic. And by “illustrating”, we’re talking literally. “Restless Nights” starts with a colour photograph of Singh in a forest, that morphing into a black-and-white animated version of the singer walking down a tree-lined path.

      The appearance of Dr. Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix will time-stamp the video for future generations. But the most important sketched characters are the ones we don’t know: kids, couples, and parents from a different time—one where you didn’t risk someone’s life with a hug or after-school play session.

      Most important is the bandana-wearing guitarist, who first appears at the 1:40 mark. We’ll let Singh take things away below with his YouTube explanation of why that character is important, and what he means. But before we do, thanks are in order.

      We’re all in this together. Thank you Ranj Singh for making things a little less overwhelming.

      Here areSingh's words:

      “Over one year ago, I lost my older brother and wanted to write a song that would capture my grief. I am sharing Restless Nights in the hope that it may bring comfort and closure for those of us who have experienced the pain of losing a loved one, without getting to say goodbye. I want to reach out, especially during these COVID-19 days, and let you know that you are not alone. It was a pleasure teaming up with Peca Petrovic of 'Smile Magnet', who did the beautiful visuals and animation for the video."