Bringing back rhythm and melody is everyone’s favourite sister trio, HAIM. After four years since their critically acclaimed debut, ‘Days Are Gone’, and ten years to the date of their first performance (07-07-07), the threesome finally shared with us their highly anticipated second record, ‘Something To Tell You’ on Friday (07-07-17).
The glossy record is everything and more one would expect from the LA rockers. With this record the band have stayed true to their roots and managed to keep the unique charm that was first heard on ‘Days Are Gone’. With Grammy-winning producer Ariel Rectshaid at the helm ‘Something To Tell You’ is clean-cut and crisp. It has been meticulously produced and has not one loose end. Lyrically, the album talks about complicated and tumultuous relationships – putting words to complex thoughts of love, loss and longing. In true HAIM fashion, the sisters have nailed the art of turning downcast feelings into jaunty, hip swaying and overall dance-able tunes.
The fast paced and summery lead single ‘Want You Back’ opens the record and sets the stage for the onslaught that is to come. ‘Nothing’s Wrong’ is a track that maintains early ’80s influence. Its rich harmonies and jangling guitars are reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Hold On’. Lyrically, the song gives life to the unspoken thoughts that crop up when one notices an odd shift in one’s relationship.
‘Something To Tell You’ has also given the band a chance to grow and experiment with a number of styles. ‘Little Of Your Love’ is a 2017 version of the “’50s doo-wop thing”, according to what Danielle Haim told Pitchfork. It’s a thumping track with rhythmic, raspy guitars and upbeat drums. The trumpets and cello in the background add character, whereas the impeccable shredding and guitar solo make it other worldly.
Boasting ’90s influence are tracks ‘Ready For You’ and ‘Walking Away’, both rather sassy tunes. The two tracks possess qualities of hip hop and R&B – done the HAIM way, of course. On the other hand, the title track is a rather spacious and stormy. The thundering drums and pulsing bass work in perfect harmony, creating the absolute fist pumping and singalong jam
‘Found It In Silence’ is a song that just explodes open. It’s upbeat and orchestral with steady violins and fast paced drums. The bubbling bass and the layered harmonies towards the end are elements that definitely stand out. The buildup of the song creates suspense – keeping the listener on edge. According to what Danielle Haim told Pitchfork: “After ‘Nothing’s Wrong’ and ‘Something to Tell You’, this is the end of a trilogy of songs on the album. We wrote it as charging forward, like a march–it’s about knowing what we want, being empowered”.
The hair-raising penultimate track is ‘Right Now’. The song evokes feelings of frustration that revolve around lies and incomplete love. With its roaring guitar and thundering drums, the song explodes into its own – full of rage. As it fades, it leaves a feeling of numbness, perfectly setting the stage for the last track.
‘Night So Long’ closes the album on a quieter note. It’s the band’s most melancholic and vulnerable song so far. According to Alana Haim, it’s a song about “being lonely on the road”. The track’s vocals are stark and isolated, the stacked harmonies, full of emotion, sound like a siren’s call. “Steeped in reverb”, ‘Night So Long’ bids the listener farewell: “I say goodbye to love once again/So long”.
Packed with heavy drums, shimmering synths and killer guitar riffs ‘Something To Tell You’ was definitely worth the wait. Although the record lacks solos from Este and Alana Haim (save for ‘Want You Back’), it makes up for it with the introduction of complex, gospel like harmonies. By doing soft rock and pop in their own unique way, HAIM are a breath of fresh air. Their new album gives a (very welcomed) break from the bleak and monotonous music that seems to dominate radio stations at the moment. Other than this, ‘Something To Tell You’ is further proof that the trio are masters of rhythm and are only just getting started in their quest for indie-pop world domination.
‘Something To Tell You’ is out now via Columbia Records. The albums full track-listing is as follows…
1. “Want You Back”
2. “Nothing’s Wrong”
3. “Little of Your Love”
4. “Ready for You”
5. “Something to Tell You”
6. “You Never Knew”
7. “Kept Me Crying”
8. “Found it in Silence”
9. “Walking Away”
10. “Right Now”
11. “Night So Long”