Deriving its name from the Spanish word for “kite,” JOVM mainstay Nick Hakim‘s fourth album Cometa was recorded between studios and domestic spaces throughout Texas, North Carolina, California and New York. Featuring contributions from Alex G. (piano) and Abe Rounds (drums), and collaborations with DJ Dahi, Helado Negro and Arto Lindsay, the 10-song album is a collection of romantic songs written through different lenses, guided by Hakim’s experience of falling in love that made him feel like he was floating.
That dizzying, out-of-body sensation is the central theme that anchors the album’s material, with Hakim using the extreme distance between a kite and a comet as a metaphor for the depth of one’s love for someone else — and being humbled by it. “The key is to find that extremity of love for yourself,” Hakim says in press notes. “It’s about growing into someone you want to be; it’s about finding pure love within yourself when the world around us seems to be crumbling.”
For Hakim, the purpose of Cometa is less about constructing a narrative around romance and more about exploration through 10 complex compositions woven with aching metaphors throughout. Of course, while for Hakim there are special memories attached to each song, he prefers to leave them open to interpretation, offering the listener a comfortable space to develop their own connections to the material. “I think it’s nice to have love in your life and to have people that are sharing and wanting that,” Hakim explains. “It’s my interpretation of a really romantic way to express love in my own way.”
So far I’ve written about two of Cometa‘s single:
- Centered around a sparse and unfussy arrangement of strummed guitar, bursts of twinkling keys, atmospheric synths and cymbal-driven percussion paired with Hakim’s breathily cooed delivery, “Happen,” sees the JOVM mainstay subtly pushing his sound and approach in a new direction while still maintaining the dreamy and earnest essence at the core of his work. But ultimately, the song evokes the sensation of weightlessness — and then gently floating away beyond your control.
- “Vertigo,” a woozy song centered around a dusty, analog-like production featuring an arraignment of strummed guitar, skittering boom bap and layers of whirring synths paired with Hakim’s achingly tender vocals. The song depicts the dizzying sensation of trying to stay focused on someone when it feels like the world around you in spinning out of control.
Cometa‘s third and latest single, the DJ Dahi co-produced “M1” is centered around a breezy arrangement consisting of a skittering beat loop, choir-like synth stabs paired with wobbling low-end. The arrangement serves as a silky and ethereal bed for Hakim’s achingly plaintive and soulful falsetto. Interestingly “M1” is an easy-going laid back bop that captures Hakim having fun — while capturing the sweet, swooning ache of love.
“I’ll never forget when Nick was opening up sessions he had previously been creating for the album and ‘M1’ was just a DJ Dahi drum loop, a choir synth take plus a sub bass sound with minimal editing,” producer Andrew Sarlo recalls. “It was an immediate head turner and we knew we had to mine it. Later that night Nick delivered an insane scratch vocal take that still gives me chills just recalling the first moment I heard him ascend melodically during the chorus refrain. We tend to have one song during the final stages of the album process that is a hard one to crack and the adrenaline rush of finishing ‘M1’ in time was very gratifying. It’s definitely solidified as one of my favorite Nick songs”
Cometa is slated for an October 21, 2022 release through ATO Records.
Hakim has three album release shows in NYC (TV Eye), Los Angeles, and London to celebrate the album — and those three shows sold-out immediately. He also announced a headline North American tour throughout January and February 2023, and a headline European tour in March.
The Winter North American tour features a January 21, 2022 stop at Brooklyn Steel. Tickets for all the dates go on sale Friday at 10:00am local time.
Album release shows
10/20 – Nick Hakim presents COMETA – New York, NY @ TV Eye (SOLD OUT)
10/24 – Nick Hakim presents COMETA – Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon (SOLD OUT)
10/27 – Nick Hakim presents COMETA – London, England @ Avalon Café (SOLD OUT)
1/20 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
1/21 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
1/22 – Washington D.C. @ Union Stage
1/24 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe
1/27 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
1/28 – Nashville, TN @ The Blue Room
1/30 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
1/31- Austin, TX @ Parish
2/01 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
2/03 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge
2/04 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
2/05 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriets
2/07 – Los Angeles, CA @ Regent
2/08 – San Francisco, CA @ Regency
2/10 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
2/11 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
2/12 – Vancouver, BC @ Hollywood Theater
3/12 – Berlin, Germany @ Lido
3/13 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Melkweg OZ
3/15 – Paris, France @ Trabendo
3/16 – Brussels, Belgium @ Botanique Rotonde
3/18 – London, England @ The Forum