|Album Review: Justin Nozuka—"Run to Waters"|
Run to Waters
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After almost three years of silence, Justin Nozuka has returned to the Americana/folk worlds with Run to Waters. Out now via Glassnote Records, the LP contains new material as well as songs from his previously released EP's High Tide and Low Tide.
Nozuka has been pulling influence from rock and R&B into his gentle folk stylings since before James Bay made it trendy, and he has an impressive body of work under his young belt. Although Run to Waters may be his most folk-leaning, acoustic release to date, it has all of the elements which make Nozuka's previous work great: deeply personal lyrics, spine-tingling vocals, and gentle instrumentation.
Speaking on his long-awaited return to the music scene, Nozuka said in an open letter to fans:
I'm over the moon ecstatic to be sharing this new music with you. I wanted to thank you for your ongoing support throughout these years of silence and experimentation. I've been working on this album for over 2 and a half years. There were many times when I thought I was close, only to realize more songs needed to be written… It was an ongoing challenge, a proper mountain to climb.
Tracks like "All I Need" and "Aurora" have that climbing-a-mountain feel, building and swelling spectacularly, making use of driving percussion ear-catching melodies. On the flip side there are gentle, soul-baring tracks like "Laury" and "Reverie," which catch you like a warm summer breeze. Run to Waters is filled with the rich imagery of the natural world. Recorded in Toronto and Devon, England with the help of producer Chris Bond, Nozuka says that Run to Waters is full of "warmth, nature, youthfulness, and honesty in expression." Indeed, the whole album has a hopefulness to it that makes it something to listen to while lounging in a hammock, soaking up the summer sun.