Now I know Malta is only a country of 400,000 people, but it’s totally beyond me how a man like Jim Hickey could ever escape my radar. After leaving the shores of Malta in 2006 to pursue his musical career abroad, Jim decided that next his home would be the artsy, cosmopolitan, up-and-coming city centre of Berlin. Fast forward 8 years after and Jim Hickey has finally landed himself on my radar. After skimming through Facebook, I found myself lost in his highly addictive single “Everything” and its glitzy, blood-pumping formulae; I couldn’t help but be drawn into Hickey‘s groovy palette and unique stylistic patterns. It wasn’t long after I discovered Hickey that I sent him off a friend request. After chatting with him, I got to know a little bit more about him and learned something that I had not necessarily expected from the independent artist.
Hickey, a Maltese/American, confessed to me that he spent most of his childhood summers in LA, which had a big influence on him musically. Listening to Pink Floyd tapes helped him at the age of 15 to pick up his own guitar. He then started playing live with bands, doing studio recording, and flying out to Berlin as a session guitarist. Hickey found himself a more permanent residence in Berlin, but it soon became clear that his heart was still resting in the sunny shoreline of the Pacific Coast.
Berlin’s electronic underground scene hit Hickey hard: He started to experiment with synths and drum machines, and even began to hone his skills. With these new found techniques, he eventually landed himself a job as a live mixer for an underground club. During his time there he mixed tunes for Robots in Disguise, aniaetleprogrammeur, Gebrüder Teichmann, and Juri Gagarin, which motivated him to start experimenting with his own music. It was there that his Railings EP was born.
Having recorded and produced it at his studio in Berlin, Hickey collected enough ideas to make an artistic statement of his own. Before he lets his pride and joy go though, he told me that he will be doing a “Live In The Studio” session, which will include music from his forthcoming EP. At the moment, Hickey has no tours have been planned; however, he wouldn’t leave out the option of playing at a couple of shows in the future.
His latest single, “Everything,” is a finely crafted song that infuses elements of Washed Out, Chromatics, Animal Collective, and a touch of Foals. The video is embedded with a mixture of dark and haunting colours, but it totally suits the music. Melodic guitar riffs provide the song with a real surfy vibe, while malleable synths give it a bright 80’s touch. Hickey‘s roughly textured tone may feel harsh at first, but after one run-through you’re sure to be hooked!
“Everything” will be featured on Hickey‘s forthcoming EP, Railings, which will be released on November 11th.