With the mountains on one side and the Pacific ocean on the other, Vancouver is a city of grandeur. As the home of Aza Nabuko — an artist as focused on the thematic struggles of relationships as she is on creating massive, lush pop ballads — Vancouver feels prevalent.
The sixteen-year-old songstress has a voice that can be rhythmic and quick — as on the opening track “Strangers” which mourns a relationship lost — or grow to take over a room with the intensity of her emotions, like the serenade swell of “Fade Away”.
After making the top 100 on the CBC Searchlight 2019 contest, Nabuko pushes forward, ready to make a name for herself. Though her pop sensibility might remind of Ed Sheeran’s jump-quick tunes, she can also channel the dark boundary-pushing tendencies of Billie Eilish (“Heart of Concrete” is an example of such understated darkness). Nabuko is not afraid to pull everything into her orbit, from lush strings to vocal harmonies to the electronic accentuation on “When We Fell in Love”.
Though Nabuko has seen acclaim for her cover of “Rocky Horror” by noMBe, this eponymous EP launches her into territory of her own. With melodies as crisp as rocky mountain air and notes held with the power of the ocean, you’ll want to remain in the abundance and hooks of this record.