The allure of Nick Hakim keeps growing with each and every release. In 2017, he released the incredible Green Twins, a psychedelic, soulful project that showcased his range not only as an incredible vocalist but as a fully formed, talented songwriter. It’s a project I’ve listened to so many times, so naturally I was psyched to delve into his second studio album WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD. Sonically, this album shifts more into a murkier, more drowned out sound, with much more of a raw, unfiltered aesthetic.
The slow-paced, meandering and mesmeric opener “ALL THESE CHANGES” sets the tone for the album, as Nick crafts this incredibly dense, synth-heavy instrumental. His vocals sound almost suffocated within the instrumental, with a drowsy tone that is prevalent throughout this 12-track project. The muddy beat on “BOUNCING” is murky too, as Nick finds himself alienated from the outside world, trying to “find some peace of mind.”The strings near the end of the track, coupled with Nick’s howling vocal performance makes for a powerful end to the track. A lot of the lyrical themes throughout have to do with loss, uncertainty and finding peace within a life of madness. “QADIR,” one of the album’s centrepieces is named and dedicated to one of his best friends, Qadir Imhotep West, who passed away in 2018 aged 25. The angelic, sombre and heartfelt tone of this track is almost haunting, with a stunning melody and synths that add to the emotional grandiosity of the track. The subtle keys and additional vocals throughout are exceptional as well, really making this track a potent, poetic and stunning track. The playful “ALL THESE INSTRUMENTS” is a good break from the intensity of its previous track, while the murky “DRUM THING” features howling, almost deafening vocals from the talented singer, which definitely caught me off guard at first. The fantastic, guitar-led “CRUMPY” is another highlight on this album, with a sweet, groovy melody and an incredible instrumental. “GODS DIRTY WORK” is another rhythmic, psychedelic track, with guitar and bass leads that add a soulful touch to the record, while Nick’s soft and soulful voice capturing an incredible warmth I absolutely love. It’s another one of my favourites on this album. “SEEING DOUBLE” and “WHOO” close the album off with murky yet soothing melodies, brought together by angelic synths, guitar leads and a groovy basslines. They are both incredibly emotive and potent tracks that capture the personal, intimate tone of the album.
As mentioned, Nick Hakim’s new album WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD feels intimate, as the artist is seeking both validation and peace within himself. Dealing with grief, depression and inner-growth throughout this album, providing us with a self-reflecting and psychedelic body of work, as he meditates on his thoughts and levitates musically. It’s definitely an album worthy of support, and I hope Nick Hakim continues to strive as an artist, because I can only see growth from here!