After garnering significant public attention with the ultra-hyped singles “Indian Summer” and “Drive”, Sajeeb Saha (aka Jai Wolf) unveils his first proper release, the EP Kindred Spirits. He states that the influence for the album came from two of his Twitter fans who befriended each other because they were wearing the same Jai Wolf shirt: “This sort of chance meeting fascinated me – how two people were brought together because of music. My EP is a tribute to that concept. Each song represents a different type of connection: connections between people, places, and memories.” The result of Saha’s ideas is a mixed bag of bright, dreamy tracks that on the whole err toward the positive end of mediocrity.
A warm wave of synth and keyboards washes over the brief intro “The Space in My Heart Is for You” before launching into the glorious “Indian Summer”. Melodic and charming with just a tinge of Saha’s Arab influences, the hit has a broad scope but may outreach its grasp. The song seems too catered to mainstream audiences to have any real staying power. And while it succeeds in the popularity realm, I’m not sure how much artistic legitimacy you gain from having your song featured on American Idol. The album continues with “Gravity” and “Like It’s Over”, the latter indeed surpassing the former with MNDR’s vocals making it the more impressive song. “The World Is Ours” features hum-drum pitch-shifted vocals, and the EP concludes with the warm, sunny, and melody-driven “Drive”.
While Kindred Spirits is nothing close to magnificent, it demonstrates a young talent with something different to offer. Jai Wolf seems to be keen on writing big, mid-tempo beats with an affinity for infusing a tinge of Eastern flair. Hopefully, in the future, he’ll focus less on pleasing the masses and strive for something more original and worthwhile in the burgeoning EDM scene.