EP: Leo Nazz

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After 5 years in the making and 2022 packed full of live shows and single releases, Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Leo Nazz finally releases his eponymous debut EP. The five-track opus is a culmination of his hard work and personal struggles over the past few years. 

The opening track “I wanted to be honest” had previously been released as a single, and it showcases the country/folk-ish elements of the record. It starts off with a cool bassline and powerful drums, then changes into a chord progression with rim shots as the verse starts. The change from soft verses to an explosive heavier chorus somewhat bridges the gap between the 60s pop-rock and 2000s Alternative Rock. The personal story told by the lyrics and the bluesy guitar solo is just the cherry on top of this amazing mix of genres.

The second track, “it feels like”, is more country and folk than rock. Banjos/banjo like percussions, a faster tempo, and harmonica solos make this one so fun to sing along to. I can imagine how much of a crowd-pleaser it will be at live shows, especially with that quiet bridge full of claps in its midsection. 

“Late summer night phone calls” begins as a slow and somber acoustic ballad that lets the vocals take the spotlight until the bass guitar and drums playfully join in on the second verse. The guitar solo gave me goosebumps and had me craving for more of that sweet and bluesy melodic guitar playing. This track is my favorite vocal performance out of the five tracks, especially the acapella ending. 

“White noise” keeps it simple and makes use of the acoustic guitar and heart-wrenching vocals, near the end of the song some backing vocals and strings join the emotional buildup as well as some soft percussions. It reminded me of Hozier a little bit – simple yet on-point songwriting that has enough substance and style to both plays with your emotions and stay in your memory.

The fifth and final track, “I don’t mind (demo)”, feels like spoken words more than singing because of how emotional it is performed. It has a great chord progression and some harmonica melodies that will make you feel every word and every sincere emotion. I think what makes this track so beautiful is that it doesn’t have any out-of-measure high notes or super fast sections, it keeps it simple and that’s what greatly increases the emotional impact it has on the listener. 

In conclusion, this record is the culmination of one man’s uneasy life endeavors as well as the stressful work he put in to start out his music career. If you’re looking for a short bluesy record that’s both personal and simple, you’ve just hit the jackpot with Leo Nazz.

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