Nampo delivers slow-rock Australiana on new EP ‘Bus’

One-man band Nampo recalls moments both blissful and sombre on the just-released EP Bus. 

Nampo has released his new EP Bus, a five-track collection of slow-rock meets surfy Australiana. The project — which marks the Ballarat singer-songwriter’s fourth official release — begins with the summery nostalgia of I Know Mary.

Coasting on fuzzy guitar strings, the EP opener sees Nampo — who describes himself as a one-man band — recall the mundanities of everyday life with a partner. 

Nampo EP 'Bus'

Perhaps the most distinct element of I Know Mary, and indeed the EP overall, is Nampo’s unique vocals, which recall those of Rex Orange County with talky delivery and raw honesty.

Painting a picture of the titular subject, I Know Mary employs vivid lyricism to describe a romantic yet listless flame who drinks “Ouzo and coke.”

There’s something distinctly Australian about Nampo’s songwriting, whether it’s in the blissful backing harmonies, sun drenched instrumentation or the mentions of Mary “working in hospo.” 

That flair for imagery continues on I Know, where Nampo collects sporadic and tangible scenes from afternoon sunsets to chilly weather, all while reflecting on themes of loneliness and having “no one to hold.”

There’s an ease and simplicity to the track, which — save for the unique flair of a quacking duck — makes use of sparse yet comforting production to forefront Nampo’s storytelling. 

Leaning into Nampo’s acoustic knack, Last Bus feels equal parts melancholic and optimistic. Here, the singer harmonises with himself in between country-like guitar strings, with intermittent doo-wop harmonies making for the kind of track you might spin during a bike ride on a summer’s afternoon.

Nampo EP 'Bus'

Elsewhere, on the EP’s rawrest cut, Nampo muses on the intangible passage of time with a simple guitar melody on Not Here. “Where goes when I’m not here,” he sings in his most vulnerable delivery yet, “the time just disappears.”

Later Nampo masters his evocative imagery on the final track Pinoclean, where he builds an entire song out of the cleaning product once used to clean his home. 

Opting for a grittier vocal range, Nampo sings alongside horn sections, and recounts the sad tale of a loved one suffering with cancer.

It’s a fitting bookend to an EP of recollections both blissful and sombre, and a finalises a worthy addition to Nampo’s growing discography. 

In addition to Bus, Nampo has released his debut self-titled EP, as well as the full-length projects album and omeo. Listen to Nampo’s new EP Bus below.