Okay, time to get the cliche introduction out of the way that every single writer reviewing this album will do (I’m a conformist, sell out etc.). *clears throat* HAIM are the biggest new thing in the music stratosphere RIGHT NOW! Three (3!) sisters from Los Angeles who’ve been playing music since GOD KNOWS WHEN team up together to produce the perfect summer record JUST FOR YOU! With singles like ‘The Wire’, ‘Falling’ and ‘Don’t Save Me’ becoming dominatrix’s of the radio waves, HAIM’s much awaited debut record is something YOU NEED!
From all the ‘real’ hipsters out there, a collective snort is issued. As we sip on our skim flat-whites and flip through ‘The Communist Manifseto’ (45th edition), we roll our eyes at this ‘HAIM’ fade. HAH! This *scoff* band, which contains the nepotism of the Jackson 5 with the doe-eyed smoothness factor of Frank Ocean and girl-pop wonder of Lana Del Ray, should be paid less attention to than the latest issue of NME.
Wait, WHAT THE FUCK!?!?! This album fucking rules! It is not the drivelling mess of over-exagerated air-play we expected, but a well-executed smorgasbord of sleekly defined and, dare I say it, lovely songs. HAIM seem to have pulled off the impossible: craft a perfect summer album that will appeal to anyone with a brain cell in their head. Catchy, fluent and built on strong foundations of musicians making good music, HAIM’s debut confidently rears it’s head like Ryan Gosling in Drive, surveying everything in their path with a pastoral nod of approval.
‘Days Are Gone’ is probably the best Hollywood kind of album to have been released in decades. It shimmers and gleems with a forgotten beauty. I’m talking about that tragic beauty not seen since Marilyn Monroe used to bang JFK. The closest comparison to HAIM’s genuine neon-love sound would be The Killers…But even then that’s a stretch because The Killers indulge in a little more of their homely Las Vegas sleaze, whilst HAIM still maintain a warm innocent bubble. It’s weird, HAIM have invented something that seems like it should have been made ages ago, but they’re only creating now? Like, why hasn’t undercut glamness been collided with triple female harmonies and a consistently deep bass groove holding down rapturous pop melodies? Seriously, is that vague description too much to ask for, MUSIC INDUSTRY?
Besides the obvious singles, the record is jam-packed with sultry songs that spark all sorts of joy. It’s especially the songs that are meant to act as filler that stand out for me personally. The rolling down Hollywood Boulevarde with ya homies ‘My Song 5’ marries a tribal stop-start rhythm with hip-hop sensibility, which slowly gravitates into an all-elbows-in-the-dance sass. There’s the 60’s revival ‘Honey and I’ a beautiful, waltz on the boardwalk, mid 80’s rom com final kiss track, and it would be amiss not to mention the heart-melting starlet that is ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’. These diamonds in the rough, thrown in between the bonafide hits (with very solid reason-I’m not deriding the singles, those songs are pop perfection) ensure that the album mesmerises from start to finish.
To say that HAIM have pulled off the impossible, namely a good pop album, is an understatement. ‘Days Are Gone’ shatters all cynical expectations with its buoyant attitude. All the motions of classic L.A girl is there-love, loss, bitterness, some street-grade sass, and it’s filtered through what could be the cliche lense of ‘summer tint’ (Brand New Flavour @ Ben & Jerry’s), but HAIM pull of this album and sound with a skill and nonchalance that belies their age. BOOM! SUCK IT INDIE HIPSTERS! YOU DO ACTUALLY NEED THIS ALBUM!
‘Days Are Gone’ will be out on the 27th of September. Dig it? You’ll be able to reach for the high notes in “Falling’ and bump ‘n’ grind to ‘My Song 5’ pretty soon as well, as HAIM were just announced as the headliners for Laneway Festival (If you’re looking for another reason to go to Laneway, look no further than the fact that Kurt FUCKING Vile is playing) See ya there!