Bakar Finds His Freedom in 'Halo'
An elusive artist who lets the art speak for him, Bakar has planted his feet firmly with Halo, a soul-bearing sophomore album that marries British rock with pop indie in an exclamatory font.
Beyond his unique voice and lucid storytelling, there is a natural allure to the Camden-based musician. As he drifts further away, you only want to lean in closer, to make out more than just his outline. As a true artist would, he speaks little to who he is and infuses as much as he’s willing to share into his work. Halo is our first peering into what viral fame has made of the artist and the stories that have lived in between. “Made this album on the move in bare different hotels, airbnbs, my house, etc,” the artist shares via Instagram caption. “Feel like I’m allergic to them big studios nowadays.”
This homely feeling undeniably transfers into the bones of this project. Following his debut Nobody’s Home, Bakar is noticeably basking in well-earned confidence this go-round, telling stories that are only his own. Impeccably produced and euphorically witty, Bakar is having fun while proving his mastery.
The album’s lead single “Alive!” is vibrant and curious, setting the tone for Halo in its entirety. With opening track “OneInOneOut” and “All Night” begging dance out of you, his freedom is infectious. He’s letting himself be himself, and isn’t interested in hiding how good it feels. This doesn’t mean the project is one-dimensional, however. “Hate the Sun” and “I’m Done” both emphasize Bakar’s ability to deconstruct heartbreak, extracting his pain and adding it to the palette of his liberation.
As Bakar takes his life in, leaning back for full perspective, “Selling Biscuits” is born. His lyrical ability can never be argued, very obviously seasoned by an upbringing garnished by every shade of music. With influences ranging from J Dilla to The Maccabees, he’s the product of culture.
Standing as the album's final bonus track, Summer Walker features on a rework of Bakar’s career-changing single “Hell N Back,” a full circle moment that beams with pride. He refers to the singer as the Amy of our generation, a nod to the honor he felt having her name be the only feature. This project is personally his, but her touch only adds to Halo’s fluorescence.
Listen to Halo below: