NISULA aka Kyle Vizina is a singer/songwriter from Rosamond, California, who recently released Notes & Memos. Vizina is a familiar case of a musician with a guitar, some words and access to a laptop.
Vizina strums basic minor and major chords while singing. That's really about it which is fine if you are looking for something similar to Pink Moon. The album also comes with the standard melancholy you would expect from this genre. This release like so many that have came before it felt held back from the same thing that you hear with a lot of singer/songwriters. There simply isn’t much variation. Every song is strummed in a similar way, every song has the same sad melancholy running through its veins to the point where it feels like the only differentiating factor is the words themselves. Even a basic picking pattern would have helped. Don't get me wrong I thought he did a good job making the album cohesive but also think some slight zig and zagging may have been advantageous when listening all the way through.
The songs are carried by the lyrics. At his best he reminded me of a young Conor Oberst. He sings, “My mind is a mess of cables searching for connections / My heart is a marching band marching without direction / A coin flip decision that landed on the ridge. Should I build or burn a bridge?”
Amongst the slowly strummed songs are some palatable melodies. Although it may take repeated listens to find the melodies that stick out as Vizina's delivery is like that of a folk singer who strings his words together. As the album progresses it goes between nostalgia and lamenting. Take for instance “Used to Be” where he sings barely above a whisper , “I remember we used to be kids, The miles we ran and the things we did, / The places we looked, the places we hid, I remember when we used to be kids.”
This album has barely any deviation from the blanket of melancholy. It might have felt therapeutic for Vizina even though the songs didn’t seem to contain much solace or light in the dark. In doing so he might have forgotten a little bit about the audience.
Vizina may have some talent but I would like to see him think about how he can avoid some of the typical singer/songwriter typer tropes. The genre is oversaturated to a point of no return with anybody who can play guitar and attempts to sing. More importantly he needs to think about how he can differentiate himself. Viznia's words are poetic and thought he had an attractive voice but he still has plenty of room for development as a musician. He falls into a case of wait and see.
Become A Fan
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook