These days, we find ourselves entrenched in the terrifying reality of our giddy obsessions with the digital world—the liminality of our physical disconnect from the real world. Eritrea-born RIMON explores the matrix surrounding human behavior and social media idée fixe in relation to our reliance on technology on her third EP; Digital Tears.
From start to finish, Digital Tears holds a conceptual message in its brilliant blend of electronic effects and substantial emotional lyricism. RIMON makes a bold experimental move on the EP which features the amalgam of a vast array of textures, muffled vocals, whispers, live instrumentation and distorted cyber-sound effects with R&B music. Touching on lack of trust, cancel culture, need for validation, misinformation and other societal issues that prevail in our digital world today, she successfully hacks the art of co-opting alternative music elements in her acclaimed R&B sound without sounding scatterbrained. To be frank, only a select few have hacked this art.
“If you listen closely, you hear ‘keep me in your prayers’ in different languages”….she says on instagram stories, as she explains the tweaked electronic squeals and twitches that prelude her signature nostalgic sound on the album opening ‘Been Around The Globe’. Unknown to her fans and followers, she had other plans when she requested for voice recordings of the sentence in their mother tongues. Those electronic tweaks beautifully segue into RIMON’s quest of the unknown, threading her trademark lush chords, nostalgic and vintage as always, to create what might be one of the best R&B album openers.
Maintaining the thematic density of the project, an overly auto-tuned Feed Me with a digital game-like interlude sees RIMON dwell on our inexorable craving and obsession with mobile devices. Despite the overwhelming information we consume; whether good, bad or misconstrued, we continue to drown ourselves everyday, sinking deeper and deeper in this fixation. RIMON ekes out a muffled hook through celestial vocals over blaring horns, flutes, guitar strings and organic instrumentation on Digital Tears, capturing the essence of the EP.
Speaking on the EP, RIMON commented, “It’s not a protest. It’s not meant to be a lesson. It’s a look in the mirror. A reflection of a generation. Touching on multiple aspects of our current semi-digital lives”.
Mountain Views is visceral, touching on the backwash of injustice, misinformation, and briefly highlighting 1989’s prejudiced Central Park Jogger case. A timeless mix of hip-hop and R&B on the Earthgang-assisted iClout discusses social media validation, and addiction to insatiable desires. These two songs intricately delineate RIMON’s socio-conscious fervor, while sustaining their sonically cohesive elements.
Despite being a combination of R&B and electronic sounds, RIMON’s African roots shine on the EP, with imbued African music elements and carefully woven lyrics that shelters Eritrea’s religiousness.
Digital Tears stands for its overall uncompromised quality, a 26-minute entrancement that catapults us into the future with novel sounds, and natural sounds that breathes life on our modern day zeitgeist. She gains clarity on the nature-inspired 20/20; exuding the aura of one whose art sheds light on our modern day reality, in hopes of change. A hopeful breath of fresh air that smells like Spring—the perfect outro for a genius body of work.