Sisters Este, Danielle and Alana have come a long way from their days performing with their parents as Rockinhaim. Now known worldwide as Haim, the girl group blend the swag of Destiny’s Child, the angst of Janis Joplin and the family harmonies of the Jackson Five into the unique, striking sound that they display on their debut album Days Are Gone.
Much of the excitement around the release has been generated by the charisma that these girls project, charming interviewers and audiences alike wherever they go. Ever since their single ‘Don’t Save Me’ was premiered by Zane Lowe (another act to grace the LCR this semester, along with the group themselves who will be here in December) on Radio 1, the band has graced magazine covers and radio studios across Europe and North America.
This same self-confident attitude that the girls themselves project is also present within the album’s opening tracks; ‘Falling’, ‘Forever’ and ‘The Wire’. It is worth noting that these songs served as the album’s promotion, and therefore the listener is eased into the new release through the songs that they have already grown to love. By placing the singles in a bunch at the beginning, not only are we reminded instantly of the reason we bought the album in the first place, but we are also then given the freedom to then digest the new tracks without interruption from old friends.
It’s a shame that the second half of the album is at times a little less captivating than we are used to, but Haim are to be applauded for the diversity and ambition of their musical influences. The beat behind ‘My Song 5’ would be fit just as well on a Pusha T album, while the rapturous ‘Honey & I’ exudes a Joan Jett-like confidence. Current single and third track ‘The Wire’ stands out particularly, as the girls each showcase their vocal ability, with lowered voices teasing the microphone and uniting for the harmonies found in the chorus. ‘The Wire’ would be at home next to any Blondie song – and that’s something to be praised, rather than mocked.
The 02 Academy in Brixton has just announced that it will be hosting Haim next Spring as part of a wider tour that will take in a handful of the UK’s heavyweight venues. This serves as a reminder of just how lucky we are that they’ll be playing the Nick Rayns LCR on December 4th. While tickets have been sold out for weeks now, those who bagged one are in for quite the show.
Ariel Rechtshaid, the producer of Days are Gone, previously worked with Usher and Vampire Weekend, and it wouldn’t be a long shot to expect the Haim sisters to go on to reach similar heights in their career. Sure, there are some songs that don’t possess the same charm as the singles (namely the formulaic title track), but if the overall release is anything to go by, it’s an exciting time to be a Haim fan, or even just a fan of music.