The first thing that sticks out with Jen Rim‘s self-titled EP is her vocals. I didn’t know that she was able to pull this monstrous depth forward. It sounds like she’s pulling emotions from a hidden place and presenting that in a plain and entrancing way. The seven songs, produced by Boaz Roberts, provide a different dimension from the former Run River North member.
Jen Rim is a new slate and a new introduction. The songs are somber and melancholy especially “Again.” Choosing this track to start the EP is an interesting choice. It has a minimalistic introduction that slowly adds more instruments while centering on Jen Rim’s vocals. There’s a deliberate and purposeful use of space in each verse that maintains your focus from start to the finish.
The tone continues on “Hanging On.” The depth of her vocals was surprising as her other supporting vocal work didn’t show this range. “Hanging On” was released as an earlier single and set up a lot of expectations for the entire EP. I find the song a bit like “dark indie pop.” Given a different shade, this could have been a brighter song, and the decision to keep the flow this way is great. There’s cohesion on every track.
“James Franco” is the first time listeners get a different style from the previous three songs. A simpler track that focuses on acoustic guitar and vocals, mixed with additional instrumentation, this is the song that highlights Jen Rim. “A Little Longer” is her garage rock track. It has a similar quality to the early EP tracks, but the guitar effects and added vocal freedom give “A Little Longer” a lasting appeal. I can see it as a live show starter to grab the audience’s attention or the closer where Jen Rim grasps abandonment and removes all her chains.
There’s a specific flow on the EP and “Dreaming” and “Time I Have” offers a different perspective with Jen Rim’s style. I like how she’s closing the EP with a purposeful lower key presentation. She’s giving a full spectrum of successful ideas on her debut EP and leaving the door open to journey in pretty much any direction.