Haim are so intensely likeable that it’s almost a problem. They dress like a Zara advert, have cool celebrity friends, and are always covered in a glimmering summer filter. Days Are Gone was the perfect soundtrack for the summer that I was 18, and now Something to Tell You has been perfectly timed to play alongside my 21st summer. Is it an experimental break from tradition for the trio? No, not exactly. But whatever. When I think of Haim I think of fringe skirts, middle partings, and Fleetwood Mac t-shirts. Haim are a summer smoothie made from all the most fashionable parts of the 70s, and that suits me fine.
The album’s lead single and opening track, Want You Back, picks up where the slow introspective ending tracks of Days Are Gone left off. The sophomore effort shakes off the cobwebs of the last three years with punching, upbeat riffs and thoughtful, if repetitive lyrics. They’re not breaking boundaries or making philosophical discoveries, but who cares. Best served on a hot day, with ice and a slice, a pair of oversized sunglasses, and no responsibilities.
Picks: You Never Knew
Haim’s brand-new album Something To Tell You definitely isn’t a bad listen. Their sophomore album certainly is a fun and energetic listen and it establishes their sonic style of an interesting mix of 70s soft rock with synth-pop and R&B influences. However, that being said, this album frankly isn’t ground-breaking and falls short of reaching greatness.
The largest problem I had with this album is overwhelming feeling of sameness. Sonically, this album has little range and lyrically Haim’s tracks lack inventiveness. Yet, while the album exhibits a strong sense of uniformity, it never hits the lows of monotony. Haim’s sound has an easiness to it and Something To Tell You provides a suitable soundtrack for long summer days. Despite this, their artistry could absolutely be improved if they pushed their thematic content beyond the realms of relationships, which is the generic choice for pop music.
Haim are a reliable band. Something To Tell You has no massive weak points and what Haim are known for (energetic beats and a fresh use of three-part harmony) is on good form here. However, the overwhelming feeling is that this is just another Haim album and, when this is only their second release, that’s not really a great thing.
In 2013, Los Angeles based sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana released a pop rock album called Days Are Gone under the band name Haim, their surname. The sisters brought back the best of the 80s, the 80s we all like to remember. Now, when you think of the 80s, what comes to mind? Is it the neon t-shirts with the cheesy patterns? The oversized hoop earrings? The shiny leggings, complimented by none other than heavy legwarmers. If so, then you are in for a surprise. This is not the 80s that Haim brought to music in 2013. Instead, Haim updated the sounds of the 80s with a sleek and stylish 21st-century twist.
Flash-forward a few years, the sisters are well established in the pop rock world; they release their sophomore album. Something To Tell You is Haim appropriately aged a few years. The four-year long hiatus since their debut release has done them well. The songs are more polished, bigger, and experimental. The production value is higher, and it pays off. Gone is the grungy garage band sound that Haim developed for Days Are Gone. The band tiptoe into different sounds in this record, sampling from acoustic rock to anthemic pop with Want You Back and Kept Me Crying. Or, for example, Walking Away is like if Britney Spear’s whispery voice and early 2000s hip-hop had a baby. All in all, Haim’s Something To Tell You is definitely worth a listen.
Picks: You Never Knew, Walking Away, Kept Me Crying
When I look back at 2013, I am mostly overwhelmed by thoughts about my previous embarrassing state but that’s not what we are here to discuss. It’s the music, and 2013 was undoubtedly a solid year for music with stand-out releases from Arctic Monkeys, Kanye West, Daft Punk and the ladies of the hour, Haim. Days Are Gone was a powerful debut full of slick guitar riffs, heavy drum beats and songs that epitomised the summer feeling. Four years on, the Haim sisters are back with sophomore record Something To Tell You which opts for a more leisurely and mature sound, harking back to the music of the 80s.
Opening track Want You Back embodies the essence of the album for me – it speaks of heartbreak, the process of healing, and ultimate acceptance all underlined by sleek keyboard sounds and a gradual build into heavier guitar riffs and bass embellishments. The album is pretty consistent in its use of this musical style but each song also has its distinct notes, like Nothing’s Wrong which is reminiscent of their soft-rock debut. Something To Tell You, on the other hand, feels more dreamy. Little Of Your Love is a synth heavy pop track, one of my favourites on the album because it feels like a departure from that formula I previously mentioned. Other highlights include the very Fleetwood Mac-esque You Never Knew, and Walking Away, a (sort of) sensual track which sees the sisters reach a resolution for the troubled relationship(s) they’ve encountered throughout the album. The final tracks of the album are probably my least favourite, as although they showcase more of a deeper side to the band, it throws off the tempo of the preceding tracks for me. Nonetheless, Something To Tell You is a strong effort showcasing some real development from the band with (undoubtedly) more surprises to come.
Picks: Little Of Your Love, Kept Me Crying, Want You Back