Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site for a while, you’d recall that earlier this year, the Washington, DC-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Nick Hakim quietly re-emerged with the first batch of new material in some time, “Bet She Looks Like You” “Green Twins,” and “Roller Skates,” the first three singles off his recently released and highly-anticipated full-length debut Green Twins. Hakim can trace the origins of Green Twins‘ material back a bit — back to when armed with the masters for his first two, critically applauded EPs, Where Will We Go Part 1 and Where Will We Go Part 2, the DC-born singer/songwriter and guitarist, relocated from Boston, where he was then based to Brooklyn. And as soon as he got himself settled, Hakim quickly went to work, spending his spare time writing and recording sketches using his phone’s voice memo app and a four-track cassette recorder and further fleshing them out whenever possible. He then took his new demo’d material to various studios in NYC, Philadelphia and London, where he built up the material with a number of engineers, including frequent collaborator Andrew Sarlo (bass, engineering and production), who were tasked with keeping the original spirit and essence of the material intact as much as humanly possible.
As Andrew Sarlo explained in press notes about the writing and recording process for Green Twins, for many artists, a demo typically serves an extremely rough sketch of what the song could eventually become and sound. However, with Hakim, things are done very differently; in fact, the demos are seen as more akin to building a comfortable, holy temple — and as a result, as a producer and engineer, Sarlo was tasked to clean, furnish where necessary and prepare those who entered for a profound, religious experience.
Thematically speaking the album’s material reportedly focuses on unique and particular aspects and events of his life with the bulk of the songs being based on specific experiences, feelings, and thoughts had at the time he was writing and composing. As a result, the album consists of a series of different self-portraits — and in a similar fashion to Vincent Van Gogh’s famed self-portraits, the album’s song captures the artist sometimes in broad strokes but frequently in subtle gradations of mood, tone and feeling. Hakim adds, “I also felt the need to push my creativity in a different way than I had on the EPs,” The record draws from influences spanning Robert Wyatt, Marvin Gaye and Shuggie Otis to My Bloody Valentine. We wanted to imagine what it would have sounded like if RZA had produced a Portishead album. We experimented with engineering techniques from Phil Spector and Al Green’s Back Up Train, drum programming from RZA and Outkast, and we were listening to a lot of The Impressions, John Lennon, Wu-Tang, Madlib and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.”
Green Twins‘ fourth and latest single “The Want” features Hakim’s tender and aching falsetto over a sparse and hauntingly eerie arrangement of shimmering and gently plucked guitar chords played through copious reverb and effect pedals, soaring organ and a gently propulsive rhythm section to evoke a plaintive, vulnerable and undeniably carnal longing for someone, when all you want in this world is the electric touch of their skin against yours, to lay around in an unkempt bed with limbs entwined all morning, kissing, touching, licking, tickling, laughing and bullshitting . . .
With the release of live footage of Hakim and his fantastic backing band performing “The Want,” the acclaimed singer/songwriter announced a handful of upcoming Fall tour dates including an October 3, 2017 stop at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Check out the tour dates below.
Jun 09 Los Angeles, CA – Natural History Museum
Jun 12 Los Angeles, CA – Amoeba Records In-Store (6pm)
Oct 03 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
Oct 04 Baltimore, MD – Metro Gallery
Oct 05 Raleigh, NC – Kings
Oct 06 Nashville, TN – Basement East
Oct 07 Atlanta, GA – Vinyl
Oct 09 Birmingham, AL – The Nick
Oct 10 New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa
Oct 13 Austin, TX – ACL Festival
Oct 14 Austin TX – ACL Festival
Oct 15 Austin TX – ACL Festival
Oct 17 Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
Oct 20 San Francisco, CA – The Independent
Oct 21 Oakland, CA – Starline Social Club
Oct 23 Portland, OR – Doug Fir
Oct 24 Seattle, WA – Barboza
Nov 07 Bristol, UK – The Lantern
Nov 08 London, UK – KOKO
Nov 09 Manchester, UK – The Deaf Institute
Nov 10 Glasgow, UK – King Tut’s
Nov 11 Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club