[LIVE REVIEW] Nick Hakim @ Mercury Lounge
It was an abrasively cold evening, one that would tempt most to stay inside and avoid any contact with the frigid elements. Not in New York and most definitely not on an evening of Brooklyn musician, Nick Hakim's Mercury Lounge residency.
Okay Kaya, aka Kaya Wilkins was first to take the stage. Her set was minimal, accompanied only by her mic and guitar, yet her sound radiated throughout the whole room. The combination of her soulful vocals, stunning stature and effortless approach left the crowd entranced.
Arguable one of the evening's highlights was Brooklyn and Berklee graduate, Solo Woods. His few songs caught my attention prior to the performance and instantly struck a chord. He rose to the stage, stylishly fitted in a bold red poncho; foreshadowing for what to expect from the performance. Striking in every sense of the word. Backed by his talented band, Solo commanded the audience through his powerful yet delicate vocals and smooth execution. His stage presence evoked characteristics of Moses Sumney live, confident and endearing. By this time, the house was packed and silent as onlookers appeared to be in a state of awe.
Hakim, the man, the myth and the legend behind the residency, was last to grace the stage. His eccentric personality guided the evening in a more free direction. Tracks from his WWWG Pt. 1 & 2 were rearranged and performed in a new light. The washed out soul apparent on his recordings were performed with a dash of improvisational flavor. Nick's signature smooth voice did what it does best and carried the show. There's merit to the term "bedtime ballad".
The last time I saw Hakim perform was in a converted gentlemen's club. It's reassuring to see his sultry music isn't just a product of the environment, but can solidly live and breathe in conventional spaces as well. The evening was well curated and one where I can confidently say that every artists on the bill is now on my radar.