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Album Review: Nik Bruzzese explores vulnerability and loss on Casa Loma debut

Listeners may arrive at Casa Loma with the expectation that Nik Bruzzese’s solo endeavor will be an extension of Man Overboard and come away pleasantly surprised. This Is Coping is music driven by the pain of loss, the hope of moving forward and leaving a legacy within the lyrics. 

Bruzzese was driven to create this EP with no plans for releasing it until friends at Pure Noise Records insisted that it see the light of day. In our previous interview with Bruzzese, he spoke about creating music that would be a legacy for his children. After losing family and friends in succession, the EP grew from navigating his emotional vulnerability while staying true to his naturally lighthearted personality.

This Is Coping is beautiful honesty, pain and love wrapped in an acoustic mantle that fans will find unexpected but comforting. Bruzzese’s lyrics are a journey through his turmoil and since he had no initial intentions of releasing the EP, listeners hear the most authentic version of him woven throughout. Of course, it’s not all sad songs. Bruzzese always finds a way of lightening the mood and the burden, making this collection of songs all the more relatable. 

While loss is the central theme, Bruzzese morphs that topic into a message for his two little children, letting them know that someday he’ll be gone but his love for them is endless. “Olivia, Marley, and the Duck Pond” is one of the standout tracks- Bruzzese’s self-professed “letter in the desk moment”. 

This Is Coping may have been Bruzzese’s own therapy, but the message will resonate with listeners from all walks of life. Everyone experiences loss in their own way, but this EP will touch the hearts of those experiencing these emotions. Music is a healing force and finding such a relatable compilation will give fans the space and individual interpretation to process their grief. Bruzzese’s Casa Loma is everyone’s letter in the desk and this debut only promises what is sure to be excellence to come.
This Is Coping is out now!

Story by Olivia Khiel
Photo credit: Kurt Fowles