Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Sep 23rd, 2019

Aza Nabuko: Aza Nabuko

Aza Nabuko
Aza Nabuko
(JumpAttack! Records)

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The flank-y beat of “Stranger,” begins Aza Nabuko’s self-titled debut. With a strong emotive voice and a good sense of melody, this 16-year-old multi-instrumentalist seems to have a good handle on what she wants to say and how to say it.

“Ordinary,” is slower and sadder, with some studied guitar plucking, well-thought-out string placement, nice piano noodling and good strong drumming behind the pleading. The piano plays to the forefront on the next tune (the best for me here actually) the ballad “Fade Away.”

This Vancouver native lets her voice float in some cool harmonies and torchy tries on “Space Between,” and “When We Fell in Love” ends this half-dozen, with lots of atmospheric sounds behind the piano and cool snare drum beat, as once again, Nabuko does that dramatic warble thing with her voice. Electric guitar and strings add to the solid dramatic ending to this debut.

It seems Aza has been through some heartache in her few years on the planet or she’s especially empathetic to loves lost (or both). But she can certainly sing and construct a song. If I had any criticism, it would be that lyrically the six here are all of the same lyrical stripe, but if one isn’t singing about love in pop song construction what else is one to sing about?

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Aza Nabuko: Aza Nabuko