After having waited for what feels like forever, the LA sisters’ debut album is finally upon us. And believe me; it’s been well worth the wait.
OK – I’ll admit. I downloaded the album a couple of weeks ago when it was leaked online. But not because I’m a notorious music pirate, but because I’m happily part of the vastly expanding Haim fan base who’s waited for months, and in some cases, years for this album to drop. The three piece sister-act consisting of youngest Alana, middle child Danielle and eldest Este, hailing from San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, has taken quite the journey on the way to becoming one of this year’s most exciting music prospects. It’s true that the hype bus has been running at full throttle ever since they claimed the crown of the BBC’s Sound of 2013 Poll but with only four single releases to date, it could be considered quite surprising that the trio have managed to solidify themselves as the band everyone’s been talking about for the best part of this year. With a dominating run on the summer festival circuit, hitting places such as T In the Park, Reading + Leeds and the prestigious Glastonbury, it’s since been only a matter of time until one of the most anticipated records of the year is finally released.
I remember hearing Forever late on last year and immediately thinking I had to get my hands on a record. As lead vocalist and guitarist Danielle often proudly states at their UK shows, “this is the song that brought us over here” it’s not hard to figure out why they are so adored on this side of the pond, or over the rest of the world for that matter. From the moment our radio waves were graced with Haim’s playful sound, we’ve all been captivated – not only by the music but also by the vivacious personalities of the ladies themselves. Because if at first you don’t fall in love with their sound, you will most certainly fall in love with them.
Fusing Pop, Indie, Rock and R&B doesn’t sound like an easy task to partake in but not only have they willingly pressed the challenge upon themselves, they’ve somewhat effortlessly managed to pull it off. One of the band’s earlier releases and opening track on the record, Falling, is a prime example of this. The result is the pounding of raw, earthy drums on the aforementioned track, the slick vocal harmonies on the rather mushy Honey & I and the addictive flourish of synth on the personal favourite If I Could Change Your Mind. These all conflate to those perfect summer nights of partying with friends and relishing your youth because this is most certainly a record you can have a good time to. Already released tracks Forever, Don’t Save Me and current single The Wire only bring more of the same satisfying, unique sound that all Haim lovers have become familiar with.
Breaking away from the opening half of the album with lazily titled (but by no means lazily produced) My Song 5, we get a strong insight into the girls’ more modern influences. The song shows off a darker side to their infectious happiness in something that feels rather like a massive ‘fuck you’ to a former lover. Filled with more apparent R&B styling’s and the chorus kind of rapped-sung, the song is a different but pleasant variation from the rest of the album.
Go Slow, a familiar tune for some and Let Me Go, a live show favourite for many, set the tone for a climactic ending to a fabulous debut full length. The finale; Running If You Call My Name is a beautifully sounding closure that spews heart wrenching lyrics, as many people will find out in weeks to come just how much this particular song means to the band. The conclusion is a supremely confident debut record that, in my opinion, manages to live up to the hype.
Alana, Danielle and Este accomplish dealing with a host of different influences spanning many genres and decades and channel them seamlessly into a single album that will keep you dancing, singing and raving about for a long time yet. This record is a testament to their capacity as writers, but the real heavy weapon in an expansive arsenal of musical talent is their live performances. They have all claimed that touring is their favourite thing to do and it’s evident with the energy levels constantly chugging away at 110% at every single show. The only thing better than this record is seeing them live and the fact that they’ve claimed the majority of their popularity through endless gigging alone only emphasises this assertion. The truth is; Haim is no dalliance. They have announced their presence on the music scene and garnered themselves a rapidly expanding cult following with the successful blend of 80s Power Pop, R&B and Rock that sounds nostalgic to some and refreshing to others. This has effectively laid the foundations for one of the most promising bands I’ve heard for a while. Now, with the wait almost finally over Days Are Gone is right around the corner and it’s safe to say that it is officially Haim Time.
Days Are Gone is out 30th September. Pre order your copy now via iTunes.
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