In 2017, NJOMZA released her debut album, “sad for you,” a mournful, soul-searching collection of ballads. In her follow-up EP, “Vacation,” the LA pop singer seems to be in better spirits with her breathy and meaningful tunes.
NJOMZA was born in Germany, raised in Chicago and then moved to LA as an adult, giving her a wide view of different types of people. These vibes are evident throughout “Vacation” and make the EP even more enchanting.
1. “Mania is Temporary”
The EP opener is only about two minutes long, as is typical with a lot of intro songs, but NJOMZA is sure to pack it full of soothing and rhythmic tones. Her voice is not heard until 53 seconds in, but when it appears it’s a magical experience.
It’s the type of song someone would listen to while lying in bed relaxing. Her airy voice carries listeners to a faraway land when she sings, “Giant distance traveled a long way now // To find your heaven, find you peace of mind.”
2. “Lonely Nights”
“Lonely Nights” is significantly longer than the introduction, hitting exactly three minutes and fifteen seconds. It opens with NJOMZA’s distinct voice singing, “Lonely nights // Could be spent better.”
This song picks up the pace of the EP a bit, introducing a strong bass and defined beat to match NJOMZA’s soulful lyrics. It slows down momentarily at around the midpoint of the song, but soon picks the beat back up. “Lonely Nights” reminds me of something I’d listen to when in need of a good singing-at-the-top-of-my-lungs session. Although the lyrics are a bit repetitive, the beat occasionally switches up, keeping the listener on their toes.
3. “Me & You”
“Me & You” opens up with a delicate, rhythmic tune and makes way for NJOMZA’s breathless, almost whispery voice. The lyrics of this song remind me of someone deeply in love. She sings, “We light it up till they stop comin’, one left over in the mornin’ // I still have you.”
The whole song is breathy and slow, giving off a loving but infatuated vibe. NJOMZA’s voice enchants the listener and instantly gives a feeling of peacefulness.
4. “One Foot in the Water”
“One Foot in the Water” is the most upbeat track on the EP up to this point. It is another perfect song for a jam-sesh with friends. The tune makes the listener want to bob their head in sync while NJOMZA’s intense and deliberate voice as she delivers lyrics such as, “I’ll smoke my weed to let the feelin’ fade, I don’t got time to play // Oh, pardon me for gettin’ in the way, I’ll be on my way.”
Many listeners, especially around the ages of 18-25, can identify with these types of lyrics because this period of time is so trivial. Sometimes all we want is for our feelings and struggles to fade away for a bit.
5. “Don’t Count the Daze”
“Don’t Count the Daze” is a tribute to NJOMZA’s background as an EDM vocalist and unleashes her inner passion for house music. EDM fans will love this track because of its upbeat sound, occasional drop and direct bass. This song is most definitely not a typical EDM song, but has many of the characteristics of the EDM genre that I personally look for when listening to that type of music.
NJOMZA’s soulful voice yearns to break free from her dreamy state featured on “Lonely Nights” and “Mania is Temporary,” which is exactly what it does in “Don’t Count the Daze.” The hook features the lyrics, “Happenin’ to me, I just needed peace // You came from my dreams to reality,” leading some listeners to believe this is a tribute to whoever broke her heart and led to her soul-searching and mournful album last year.
6. “Don’t Know Why”
NJOMZA’s second-to-last song on the album opens up with the lyrics, “I don’t know why I’m holdin’ on // playin’ you like my favorite song // I know it’s messed up, I know it’s wrong // To go on like this.” The lyrics, beat and sound of this song lead some listeners to believe NJOMZA is not completely over her heartbreak and, like many of us, struggles with moving on from a past lover.
The beat in this song is absolutely amazing; it’s strong and present, with a slowed-down underlying bass. NJOMZA’s voice sounds thick with emotion on this track, and her lyrics show her internal struggle.
To tie up the EP, the last track is named “Outro.” NJOMZA slows it down even more for this tribute to her former lover. Again, a deep bass and distinct, consistent beat is present throughout the entirety of this song. The lyrics, “Special, you’re so f—in’ special // Every time I feel it // No, I don’t wanna leave it” speak to her deep sadness but knowledge that she must move on from her heartbreak. The entire song follows the same theme, with NJOZMA’s heart-wrenching vocals prevailing over all else.
Overall, “Vacation” is a deeply thought-out collection with saddening but encouraging and relatable lyrics at the same time. Though a short EP, NJOMZA manages to cram it full of sing-able and relatable songs. I’d definitely recommend “Vacation” to anybody, regardless of whether or not they have been a fan of NJOMZA for years or have never listened to her. There’s definitely something for everyone on this album, and it is evident that a lot of time and love went into its production.