Zach Nahome has become my producer of the year so far through his work on Bakar’s Nobody’s Home. The entirely Zach produced album is an absolute masterpiece by all accounts, displaying incredible maturity and cohesion from both Bakar and Zach. It was a huge step forward from Bakar’s prior work, polishing the sound deriving from his indie rock roots. Beyond that, Zach recently worked with PinkPantheress, as well as produced a significant portion of Bakar’s discography.
Sitting down to choose just one track from Nobody’s Home to highlight is almost impossible. However, every time I listen I find myself gravitating towards one track the most – “Reclaim.” Amidst an album that explores the loss and confusion throughout his life and the oppression faced as an immigrant in the UK, “Reclaim” is a moment for Bakar to reclaim control over certain things. The second verse plays with the childhood game “Simon Says” as Bakar recognizes and cuts off bad influences, before singing on the chorus, “Reclaim, reclaim this place / Let me deface, deface this place.” This also serves as the shining moment on the production, a flurry of beautifully layered vocals to pair with the guitar and drums powered instrumental, a staple of Zach’s repertoire.
Prior to writing this, I had no idea Zach Nahome had any involvement on PinkPantheress’s phenomenal debut project. A throwback to the sound more prominent earlier in Zach’s career, the duo co-produced “Reason.” While there are still some electronic elements, it is certainly toned back from much of her music, focusing heavy on percussion throughout. PinkPantheress describes her self-doubt and struggle to find happiness, having to believe in herself that better things are to come. She describes an internal monologue, singing, “Know the feeling well of being loved / I like the feeling of becoming numb / Which one I prefer because you can't.” While this is just one of many incredible songs by PinkPantheress, it is certainly a standout one.
My personal favorite from Bakar’s stunning 2019 EP Will You Be My Yellow, “Been A Minute” is the epitome of production matching the song’s meaning. Bakar sings with a casual yet very heartfelt tone, reaching out to someone in attempts to rekindle what they once had. He doesn’t come across as overbearing, rather, explaining his own situation while trying not to drown himself out in his drinking. Zach’s combination of guitar and percussion lead instrumental carries somber tones, placing the listener right next to Bakar as he talks to his former lover. A beautiful outro leaves space for one’s own thoughts as well, as Bakar’s backing vocals carry out the final 45 seconds of the song.