Brooklyn’s native neo-soul wunderkind Nick Hakim premiered a new track from his forthcoming self-released EP Where Will We Go Pt. 2 yesterday: It’s beautiful. “Lift Me Up,” (originally released with Hakim as a featured vocalist on Gizmo‘s 2012 LP Red Balloon) strips back most of the instrumental and sonic affectations from his previous release, instead reveling in the stark sensibility of piano and a few exalting bass notes. The track boasts a definitive low fidelity–Hakim‘s voice, coupled with subaquatic minor chords, hangs heavy in the air as if the song was recorded outdoors in a park somewhere or underneath a highway overpass–and it only works to further assert his undeniable talents. As his voice fractures into a handful of sonorous, crystalline harmonies, just past the two-minute mark, “Lift Me Up” gains pace and power only to dissipate in seconds.
“I wrote this song about four years ago,” he told Vogue. “I was thinking a lot about a friend who had passed away the previous year. And that same year, my older brother lost two of his closest friends.” That unwavering sense of forlorn melancholy is unmistakable here, but the sadness doesn’t feel quite so absolute. No, it feels like sadness on the brink of hopefulness. Where Will We Go Pt. 2 is due for release on September 16 via Nick Hakim‘s own label Earseed Records. Watch the video for Gizmo‘s “Lift Me Up (feat. Nick Hakim)” below.