Free At Noon Flashback: Nick Hakim, soul machine, introduces himself to World Cafe Live - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Nick Hakim | photo by Liz Waldie for WXPN

Sensual funkiness: a combination of words I’d never expect to throw together but that fully encapsulates the sound of Nick Hakim and his four-piece backing band during today’s Free At Noon performance. The New York-based artist released his debut full-length Green Twins in May and wrapped up a US headlining tour in Seattle on Tuesday, and beginning next week he can be found opening for Fleet Foxes during the European leg of their Crack-Up tour.

Nick Hakim’s sound immediately calls for comparisons to James Blake, Moses Sumney, and even the latest iteration of Bon Iver as contemporaries in an modern take on soul–before Hakim swerves away and dives into his distinctly unique style that draws upon a range of eclectic influences wrapped up in an undercurrent of real emotion. His tracks are surprising in their sudden shifts from easy vibes to raw outbursts to near silence, as though the listener gets an inside, expansive look at the singer’s subconscious in which the instruments do as much of the talking as the lyrics. But man, can he sing. When Hakim’s voice had a turn over the music, his raspy, rich vocals melted over the room and moved the singer erratically across the stage. When he emerged from his words, it almost seemed as if he had forgotten he was on a stage but delighted to find himself there.

Get Green Twins here, and check out photos of the set below.

Green Twins
Bet She Looks Like You
Roller Skates
Needy Bees
Those Days
The Want

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