Jen Rim – Self-Titled Debut Album

L.A.-based singer and songwriter, Jen Rim releases an intimate and impressive debut album

Jen Rim - Album Review - The Daily Music Report
Jen Rim album cover image credit via: Nancy Park

Jen Rim’s debut album is a minimalistic affair that floats between lightness and darkness finding powerful moments in the sunlight and in the shadows.

Produced by: Boaz Roberts

Jen Rim, best known as a former member of Run River North, has stepped out on her own and released her self‑titled debut album. The L.A.‑based singer‑songwriter spent her formative years (2012‑2018) with Run River North primarily as a backing member. During her time with the band, they worked with acclaimed producers Phil Ek (Built to Spill, The Shins, Mudhoney) and Lars Stalfors (HEALTH, St. Vincent). The results were two full-length albums and one EP that saw a fair amount of success.

But there comes a time in every musician’s career in which it’s time to step out on his/her own. And this is the beginning of Rim’s time. Rim’s debut sees her break free and show off her vocal, guitar, and arrangement talents to a stunning outcome. It’s an album you wouldn’t expect from a shy, introvert such as Rim. “I’m still slowly learning how to come out of my shell,” Jen says. “Writing these songs has been a gateway to learning how to say things that I wouldn’t be able to say in conversation. It feels less judgmental. The songs were a challenge, to be honest with myself, how I feel and how I view a certain situation, and I had to learn to deal with what the truth is.”

Influenced by artists and bands such as St. Vincent, Wolf Alice, FKA Twigs, and The National, it’s actually Rim’s classical training that is her secret weapon on the album. Her pitch‑perfect voice floats between lightness and darkness with precision. Bouncing between the delicate and the haunting. Rim’s voice shines when combined with the reverb‑drenched chords of her black Fender. The first track, ‘Again,’ is an excellent example. It’s a slow and methodical song that exemplifies her sound. Rim’s voice is the main instrument, with her guitar and percussion acting as support.

There are moments on the album in which the imperfections of Rim’s guitar work act as a reminder that she is human. Moments like the one in ‘James Franco’ where you can hear her guitar progression from one chord to the other. It’s faint but a nice touch. And a subtle reminder that the album is not overproduced. It’s these kinds of moments that keep us wanting more. She’s creating fragile yet powerful connections with the listener. Ones where you can feel her intensity and meaningfulness come through with little effort.

For a shy individual to open herself up to the public takes courage and conviction. “I think this album really speaks for myself learning how to be truthful and honest, not to be embarrassed and ashamed about how I expect myself to be,” Jen says. “I’ve had enough of the expectations. I decided not to let all those words that I spoke or that were spoken to me define me. I hope to continue to write songs that progress and move forward.”

We expect great things from Rim in the future. She has planted her flag with confidence and should be proud of her debut creation.

Jen Rim’s eponymous debut is out today, October 20, 2021.

6.8

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