Finding the courage to explore your own voice takes time. For Los Angeles Korean-American songwriter Jen Rim, it is a constant work in progress. It took years of being successful in the music business as a backing member of Run River North for her to realize that she had something to say on her own, in her own way. “Hanging On” is the first single Jen is releasing under her name, off her upcoming debut EP. The track features her unforgettable voice atop reverb-drenched guitar, in the vein of a melancholy St. Vincent meets Lana Del Rey.
“The world has been affected so tragically by the pandemic, the constant negative news downpour, and the AAPI movement–and that’s all had such a huge part to these songs,” Jen says. “It felt like the time was so necessary for me to learn how to find my voice and share it. What if I chose hope, the opposite of what I felt like doing?”
“Hanging On” was inspired by the personal and universal struggle of making “perfect” choices, and how it’s never going to be satisfying to pursue an ideal of perfection over what is honest and true. “Sinking into fear til’ I’m quiet/ But I’m choking from the lies I built inside…” she sings. The song is a collaboration between Jen and her co-writer and co-producer, Boaz Roberts, who she met on tour a while back. They clicked instantly, and he has become an instrumental part of Jen’s writing process.
“The title is exemplary of some days when you’re barely hanging on to the end of the rope, and some days you’re more confident than others,” Jen says. “Whatever it looks like, that moment is so crucial to me because it leads you to the next step.”