If there had to be one word to describe Bakar’s debut record, Nobody’s Home, it would be “interior”. This is a great record built from the inside out - and man, does it sound good.
The 27-year-old born Abubakar Baker Shariff-Farr hailing from Camden, London begins his second album with the plaintive, finger picked guitar ballad “Noun”. Its easy drift is arresting, with Bakar’s lyrics pouring out in a steady stream. It’s shortly followed by the blip-and-drip of “Youthenasia”. It’s the flip side of the opener.
“Reclaim” is a breezy piece of the turn of the ’00’s-’10’s indie rock, something that wouldn’t sound out of place alongside tracks from Real Estate or bands of the era. The curiously/hilariously titled “Ginger Pubes” is purely guttural garage rock. “I keep fucking it up/I keep fucking it up/I do” is an instant ear worm.It’s followed by the menacing “Alone Again” with a bubbling undercurrent of a synth that builds to a melodic kiss-off about someone who would rather be alone than be with someone who is cheating on them.
Nobody’s Home has endless moments like this. “Free” is built on a propulsive organ sound and dance beat, while “Change of Heart” combines acoustic guitar and samples. Then there’s the single “NW3”, one of the album’s centerpieces, a bouncy pop track with glassy guitars and an irresistible backbeat. Don’t be surprised if you hear it on playlists this summer and beyond.
With this album, it shows Bakar is an artist of immense talent and breadth of ability. Nobody’s Home is just the tip of the iceberg. Check it out now so you can say you were there before he became a megastar.
- Brendan Hilliard, Obviate Media