REVIEW: Roman Jinn’s Debut Single ‘Russian River’

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Roman Jinn’s debut single “Russian River” is the perfect atmospheric song for summer. Its warm, nostalgic vibes have deep, deep roots, as the members of Roman Jinn first met in their middle school jazz ensemble out in Maryland. Fate would have them both end up at Columbia University, where the old friends cycled through various bands and projects. A few years later, Roman Jinn was born - when the duo ditched their computers for a more acoustic approach, and after 12 months of meticulous home recording, Sahil Ansari and Eli Aleinikoff emerged with a debut album. Mastered in New York by the brilliant Greg Calbi (David Bowie, Talking Heads, Beach House).

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This first single sweeps you up into its current and carries you along, moving the listener both musically and emotionally. The dreamy and light vocals give a sense that one is leaning back, squinting up at a wide summer sky, and floating above it all. This auditory atmosphere is then complicated and deepened with dissonant brass and percussion. 

Although the artists are balancing a lot instrumentally, the beat lends a sense of unhurried imminence to the track. A confidence that this flow will lead exactly where it is meant to. In the end, the destination of Roman Jinn’s “Russian River” seems to echo its namesake’s Northern California roots, and by the end of the song, it opens up into a wide and playful expanse of psychedelic and experimental jazz. 

Joel CampoComment