Live Concert Photography: Nick Hakim at Union Pool 3/4/17
Now, if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past couple of years, you’d likely recall that with the release of his first two EPs, Where Will We Go Part 1 and Where Will We Go Part 2, the Washington, DC-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Nick Hakim quickly established a national and international profile for a sound that effortlessly blues the lines of classic soul, the blues and the soulful troubadour sound of Van Morrison and while possessing a dusty, spectral and old-timey sound, the material had a soul-baring confessional and intimate feel.
Up until relatively recently, it had been some time since I had written about the DC-born, Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter and guitarist; however, during the time Hakim had been busy writing and recording the material that would comprise his long-anticipated full-length debut Green Twins (which is slated for a May, 19, 2017 release through ATO Records).Interestingly enough, as the story goes, Hakim can trace the origins of his debut to when armed with the masters for Where Will We Go Part 1 and Where Will We Go Part 2, the Washington DC-born singer/songwriter relocated from Boston, where he was based at the time to Brooklyn. And as soon as he got himself settled, he spent his time fleshing out incomplete songs, writing and recording sketches and lyrics using the voice memo on his phone and a four-track cassette recorder. He then took his demo’d material to studios in NYC, Philadelphia and London and built up the material with a number of engineers, including Andrew Sarlo (bass, engineering and production), who were tasked with keeping the original spirit and essence of the song 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 the Hakim, the general sense is that the demos are much more like building a holy temple — and as a result, as a producer and engineer, he was tasked to clean, furnish and prepare entrants for a religious experience, while remaining deeply personal. Thematically speaking, the material on the album focuses on particular aspects of his life. In fact, a lot of the material was based on very specific things he was thinking of the time he was writing, and as a result, the album consists in a series of different self-portraits; so in some way, the album would be bear a resemblance to Vincent Van Gogh self-portraits in the idea that while on a superficial level, many of them look the same, they capture the artist in subtly different moods and tones. Hakim goes on to explain, “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.”
Hakim is in the middle of a length international tour and it included an intimate NYC area date at Union Pool last week. Check out the remaining tour dates and photos from an incredible set of music.
Mar 10 Blueberry Hill – St. Louis, MO
Mar 11 Proud Larrys – Oxford, MS
Mar 13 Gasa Gasa – New Orleans, LA
Mar 14 White Oak Music Hall Upstairs – Houston, TX
Mar 19 Valley Bar – Phoenix, AZ
Mar 21 Voila! Gallery – Los Angeles, CA
Mar 22 Brick & Mortar – San Francisco, CA
Mar 24 Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR
Mar 25 Alexander Gastown – Vancouver, BC
Mar 26 Barboza – Seattle, WA
Mar 29 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN
Mar 30 The Back Room – Milwaukee, WI
Mar 31 Hi-Fi – Indianapolis, IN
Apr 01 Club Café – Pittsburgh, PA
Apr 19 The Dome – London, UK
Apr 20 Le Pop Up du Label – Paris, FR
Apr 22 Studio 672 – Cologne, DE
Apr 23 Bitterzoet – Amsterdam, NL
Apr 25 Berghain Kantine – Berlin, DE