Following the release of his 2014 EPs Where Will We Go Pt. 1 & 2, Nick Hakim moved from Washington DC to New York and started collecting ideas on voice memos and cassette. Three years later, the result can be heard on his eclectic debut album Green Twins.
Green Twins is hard to categorise. It’s an unimaginable type of experimental psychedelic soul that sounds like everything and nothing you’ve ever heard before. The magic lies in the details as Hakim intermingles guitars dripping wet with effects, with hip-hop beats, squealing brass, the warm crackle of a reel-to-reel tape recorder and countless other noises and sounds. Uniting all of the tracks, however, is Hakim’s magestic voice which glides, howls, soars, and cries it’s way through the album.
On leading single ‘Bet She Looks Like You’ Hakim’s voice is bare but controlled over a minimal, echoing soundscape, as he croons nihilistically about the existence of God and mortality. Comparatively, fourth track ‘Needy Bees’ features thick layers of Hakim’s voice, detuned and crying over each other, like a choir on acid. It’s a trippy ending to a song that began as a slow, piano-driven ballad.
Yet despite all of the sonic exploration and strange song titles (‘Miss Chew’ and ‘Farmissplease’ are just two examples), Green Twins is made relatable through Hakim’s lyrics which explore everyday uncertainty. “I think everybody feels insecure about certain things and everybody has lost people dear to them,” Hakim says, “I think I’m writing about common things that people feel.”
Words by Hayley Franklin.