2022 has been shaping up to be the year of the "go-to-hell," breakup song. An innumerable flood of tiktok-ready singles have dropped aspiring to be anthemic exorcisms of a universal rage. It's why singer-songwriter, Josh Nuzum's latest single "Dream On My Own" arrives like a cold bucket of water: paralyzing and deeply effecting. The sparse instrumentation—mostly piano—soundtracks a grief-stricken ballad laying bare honest heartache. The lyrics shift between malleable broadness and crushing specificity, producing a gorgeous song that is subversive in its emotional maturity and self-awareness.
With a softer touch applied to the production of "Dream On My Own," space becomes an instrument on its own. Rather than color every inch of the canvas with sound, the space between strokes of piano chords and arpeggios is utilized to heighten each instrument's impact. Much of the lyrics are designed to allow listeners to project their own experience onto. "But now the colors / just don't fall the same," Nuzum croons in the first verse. Experiences are often soured by breakups, and the 19-year-old singer wisely opens the metaphor up to reflection. But when he switches to a more diaristic approach, the stifling intimacy gives the ballad its sharpest peaks. "Was London anything like you pictured in your head?" The private particularity of this question is deafening as we question whether we were meant to hear it.
Josh Nuzum is a Charlotte-based singer-songwriter. Earlier this year he released "Stand Again," which used a similar palette of instrumentation. Both songs were released alongside music videos. At only 19 years old, Nuzum has a bright career ahead of him if these tracks are any indication of his talent. No follow up has been officially announced, but it is likely he will release again later this year.
Written By Andy Mockbee