Monday, March 3, 2014

Justin Nozuka - Right By You

Singer-Songwriter Justin Nozuka has never truly left the music scene, so calling his new single "Right By You," a comeback would be inaccurate. Sure, his second studio album You I Wind Land and Sea was released a whopping four years ago. But in the meantime, he's toured, released the beatific Blue Velvet Sea EP and even contributed a few gorgeous tracks to the Slakadeliqs' The Other Side of Tomorrow. That enough Justin for ya? No? Personally, I can never get enough of Justin's voice with its Stevie Wonder influence. He's the epitome of blue eyed soul, only with an acoustic, indie rock sorta feel. There are times when he channels Marvin Gaye like on his "Carried You" record, but he's always jamming on his guitar, so he sounds folkie at the same time. In any sense, he's always sounded cool to me. I was stoked when I heard he was releasing new music.

"Right By You," a teaser single from Justin's third solo LP Ulysees, which is rumored to be released next month, shows some vocal growth on Justin's part. The lyrics are sparse. There's a verse in the beginning where Justin mentions his solitude, but he mainly coos in an apologetic tone the line "Imma do right by you" for three minutes. His voice is like melted white chocolate. He, almost like Sade Adu, can sing anything and make it memorable.

This isn't his best song. It reminds me of the closing track of You I Wind Land and Sea, "How Low" -- a very sparse vocal exercise of being down in the dumps. Maybe Justin had a bad break up? Such things have been the inspiration of many a great record (see Adele's success with 21). Anyhow, Justin is touring in support of Ulysees, so I'm sure he'll be debuting newer, better records soon. I envy all who get to witness his genius live.

Be sure to feed your mp3 player Right By You. It needs its Justin Nozuka fix.