Haim seem to have come out of nowhere, winning us over with their mix of nineties R&B and seventies soft rock.The three sisters grew up in California on a diet of classic rock playing in their family band Rockinhaim. Eventually Danielle, Este and Alana broke away from their parents and crafted ‘Days Are Gone’, one of the most anticipated releases of 2013.
The trio’s sound is defined by funky bass lines, strong earthy drumming and Danielle’s fierce vocal delivery. “Falling” is an empowering opener delivering all this and more. Fuelled by Este’s thundering bass line and infectious synths it sets the upbeat mood. The feel good vibes keep coming on “Forever” will its catchy chorus and hand claps. Lyrically, the topic of heartbreak is explored throughout the record but with suggestions of moving forward, “I’m tired of fighting the good fight, if you say the word then I’ll say goodbye”.
Recent single “The Wire” channels Fleetwood Mac through twanging guitars and luscious harmonies. It seems Haim have already broken more than a few hearts warning “Always keep your heart locked tight, don’t let your mind retire”. “If I Could Change Your Mind” is jam packed with more irresistible hooks and ‘summery’ guitars. The sweet “Honey & I” slows things down slightly with a repetitive guitar riff and restrained drums. Este and Alana deliver effortless backing vocals which soar over flourishes of synths.
Title track “Days Are Gone” is one hell of a tune. Este takes over the role of lead singer, showing off her falsetto like vocals. The song swirls towards the chorus which is injected with touches of electronics. The distorted vocals and growling rhythm section on “My Song 5” conveys a darker R&B vibe which screams “Don’t mess with us”. It is a slightly different feel for Haim but works well amongst the polished pop songs.
“Go Slow” offers a gentler moment filled with blissful harmonies before “Let You Go”, radiating a seductive confidence, returns to Haim’s signature furious drumming. Perfect for an 80’s soundtrack, the nostalgic “Running If You Call My Name” leaves listeners on an emotional high driven by Danielle’s honest lyrics.
‘Days Are Gone’ is overflowing with influences which blend together to create a thoughtful and tight record. This is a record you can dance, cry or sing along to. This is a record that you want to blast shamelessly loud in your car.This is a record you want to play over and over again. Haim should not be underestimated, they are just getting started.