Published Nov 16, 2016After garnering enviable internet hype with twin singles "Indian Summer" and "Drive" (the first of which landed him national exposure via placements on American Idol and with the NBA), New York-based Sajeeb Saha (aka Jai Wolf) has released his first EP, the uplifting and wide-angled Kindred Spirits. Sporting mid-tempo beats and huge melodic lines in the vein of Porter Robinson, the EP offers six tracks of easily digestible electronic pop with appealing vocal turns throughout.
After the de rigeur 90-second intro, Saha wastes no time in bringing out the big guns, dropping "Indian Summer" in all its starry-eyed glory. With its vaguely Bollywood-sounding vocal line, its melody and dynamics remain undeniably compelling, although its broad-stroke charms may wear off after a few listens for some. Frankly, it's exactly the kind of bland, vaguely aspirational electronic pop you'd expect to hear on an episode of American Idol.
There's plenty more to like, however. Second single "Drive," featuring Chain Gang of 1974, remains a strong offering, and MNDR's soaring vocal feature on "Like It's Over" is outstanding — this will likely be the highlight for many. Instrumental track "The World Is Ours" is likeable as well, full of the chopped-up and pitch-shifted vocals that seem to be everywhere in 2016.
Saha is clearly shooting for the mainstream here, and achieving it almost too well perhaps, leaving little room for personality/originality at times. A little more of these ingredients would help set him apart, but he's definitely on the right track with Kindred Spirits. (Mom + Pop)