Every time I attempt to write about a song, an album, or music in general, it seems like I am always going to run out of words. The only other time that it happens is when I write about my mother, the most important woman – person – in my life, whom I sorely miss every day, leaving me breathless each time I think about her and the world where we she and I ceased to exist together anymore.
I am writing about this song, “The Green Twins,” by Washington, D.C. native Nick Hakim. He performed it in Sofar Sounds in London, a private music show that I’m familiar with, which currently holds shows here in Manila. The premise of this show has long since enticed me, but unfortunately, I haven’t been in one. Basically, musicians perform unplugged/stripped down versions of their songs in selected intimate spaces, giving a personal, pally atmosphere shared among a small audience. I cannot think of a better venue for a song like this one.
I first came across Nick Hakim’s music, particularly, “I Don’t Know,” a while back. In this song, Nick croons “I watched life inside of you grow / every month a little bit bigger / All the things that bothered your soul / made me smile and go crazy.” I closed my eyes and I pictured a meadow, with the sunlight softly touching the surface of the earth, pastel colors dancing around everywhere, and someone holding my hand. This is what this song gives me. I remember that line from Rachel Cohn and David Levithan’s Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist,
Look, other bands, they want to make it about sex or pain, but you know, The Beatles, they had it all figured out, okay? “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” The first single. It’s effing brilliant, right?… That’s what everybody wants, Nicky. They don’t want a twenty-four-hour hump sesh, they don’t want to be married to you for a hundred years. They just want to hold your hand.
“The Green Twins” is like holding someone’s hand, acknowledging the relationship entwined between each other’s fingers, no space for doubt or uncertainty. You know it, he knows it. You look anywhere but his face at first, keeping the smile from spreading across your face but your cheeks are aflame anyway. Then when your eyes finally met, his irises boring into yours, and for a moment, you feared that he will find out that he’s been there all along, an image of his face floating across your mind.
The earnestness of the song, though seemingly abridged within three minutes (too beautiful for it to end abruptly, although I can understand that it is, in most ways, open-ended), is glazed with pure, unadulterated honesty and the bittersweet promise of hopes and dreams. Professing – almost in a wounded, pained cry – of his regrets of things that could have been, as is almost always with love, the boon and bane of our existence.