There’s always that problem when you’re waiting for a band as painfully cool as Haim to release their debut record – is it going to be a case of style over substance?
Since the release of second single Don’t Save Me at the back end of last year, the LA sisters are always on the radio and seemed to play at every festival possible over summer. They’ve also had critics fall head over heels for them, with plaudits including coming first in BBC Introducing’s sound of 2013 poll. Like many, I’ve been eagerly anticipating this record – and y’know what? They’ve delivered.
Opening track Falling, combines melancholy lyrics, catchy bass licks, and breathy lyrics and gets the record off to a strong start, which is then followed by their debut EP’s title track Forever- an up-tempo track which has a summery 80s pop vibe. Title track Days are Gone and If I Could Change Your Mind follow suit, with liberal doses of synth and cheery beats, which you just can’t help but want to dance to.
Most recent single The Wire, the video for which shows the girls getting rid of their fellas, has a more obvious rock feel, with rough, scratchy riffs. Similarly, My Song 5 packs plenty of attitude and (dare I say it) girl power, whilst reminding me ever so slightly of Sleigh Bells.
The album’s fifth track Honey & I gives us a bit of a break from wanting to swish our hair around Haim style, yet remains chirpy and upbeat like the tracks it follows. However, this break is pretty short lived, as the band’s breakthrough track (and my go to tune if I needed cheering up on my year abroad) Don’t Save Me comes next, complete with sing along chorus and claps, which arguably helped it get so much mainstream exposure.
Days are Gone ends pretty much as strongly as it started. Go Slow sounds like an R&B ballad, and Let me Go starts almost in power ballad mode, which, like many songs on the album, gradually builds up as it progresses.
Haim aren’t half a talented bunch, and despite clearly having a deluge of influences, Days are Gone doesn’t suffer for it. In fact, the sum of all the girls’ musical inspirations is a quality pop album that I seem to have had on repeat over the last week. Days are Gone was worth the wait.
By Katie Harrison