Romzoni – ‘…and the Friends We Made Along the Way’

San Francisco-based artist Romzoni crafts an inviting, melodic appeal on his new album, …and the Friends We Made Along the Way. Originally from South Jersey, Romzoni’s move to the Bay Area kick-started the album’s creative process, which takes inspiration from the friends and relationships the artist has established since changing coasts. Split between collaborative tracks and solo efforts, the release also impresses in its dynamic aesthetical range — spanning from electro-pop to rock and hip-hop. “This work is a weaving of stories and perspectives of myself and my friends as we go through this life,” the artist explains.

A grippingly eclectic success, “Searching” opens the album. “I don’t know which way I’m going,” the vocals let out. “I’m just headed to the stars.” The recounting of a personal journey, both geographical and mental, is enjoyably established here within spacey synth-pop infusions. An appreciation for connection shows lyrically, easing seamlessly into a debonair guitar solo; the project’s eclectic range — from hooky synth-pop to suave rock — is on enjoyable display here, and capped off by a precise hip-hop flow that ventures back into the “don’t need no direction,” soulful pop hook.

A mellower pop retrospection enamors on the subsequent “Feeling the Same Way,” which traces a yearning to “love again,” amidst questioning of whether a love is unrequited or mutual; the title-touting hook is especially replay-inducing, adorned within the pitch-ranging vocal complements. The album’s second single, “Red Eye” laments on “feeling alone when we are together,” into starry-eyed synths and tender guitar interplay. Its melancholic, reflective tones dazzle within a romantic sophistication, conjuring shades of Frank Ocean in the atmospheric, soulful production. A music video for “Red Eye Flight” is set to release by August 1st.

The album’s first single, “Water” is further exemplary of Romzoni’s knack for gripping soundscapes. Taking inspiration from Ocean Vuong’s “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous,” “Water” also has a meditative, impactful music video. The ensuing “A Place in Space” crafts a similarly warming aesthetic; vocals emerge here with comforting qualities, emphasizing the beauty of one finding their ideal space, surrounded by a strong support system.

“Welcome to today’s meditation,” a voice opens the album finale “You’re Not Alone.” Themes of inter-connectivity and peaceful harmony are directly stated, as a guiding through deep, meditative breathing takes place. The track serves as a beautiful comedown following a melodic and personal listening experience, setting for more relaxed introspection as the album’s impactful, relationship-centric messaging is carried with lingering immersion. …and the Friends We Made Along the Way is a thorough success from Romzoni.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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