Alana, Danielle, and Este Haim; possibly three of the most well-known siblings in the history of indie rock music. Just last week, Liam Fray, front-man of Manchester band The Courteeners, voiced his love for the group on Twitter, stating “It’s probably weird to say after one record, but I genuinely think @HAIMtheband are one of THE best and most important bands of past 20yrs”. Four years since the release of their debut studio album, Days Are Gone (2013), and after a number of cancelled festival performances, track teasers, and the announcement of a secret London show this Sunday, Haim are finally back with Something To Tell You, out 7 July on Polydor Records.
It's probably weird to say after one record, but I genuinely think @HAIMtheband are one of THE best and most important bands of past 20yrs
— Liam Fray (@What_Liam_Said) June 30, 2017
With a music video released just last week, the album’s opener, “Want You Back”, perfectly conveys the influences of Haim‘s second record. With funky bass lines and slick guitar riffs reminiscent of late seventies and early eighties rock, groups such as Fleetwood Mac spring to mind as the tracks progress, a connection that is logical (Haim recorded a version of “Rhiannon” with Stevie Nicks in 2014, and appeared with her on stage at a Foo Fighters gig in 2015). Most recognisably influenced by this sound is second track, “Nothing’s Wrong”. An amalgamation of distinct guitar, eighties style synth, and prominent vocals, the track is instantly catchy, and performed live would be well deserving of the band’s signature dance moves.
As the album proceeds, a number of other influences emerge. Recently released “Little Of Your Love” is full of twangy sixties-esque guitar riffs and a somewhat doo-wop sound, whilst “You Never Knew” consists of intricate acoustic guitar and has a distinctive disco vibe. In contrast however, Something To Tell You also demonstrates an experiment with a range of new sounds for the band. Energetic track, “Found It In Silence” opens with confusing distortion, before launching into an epic string section, whilst the minimalist harmonies and big basslines of “Walking Away” are accompanied by subtle electronic undertones.
The highly anticipated track “Right Now”, the first to be previewed from the new album and premiered on BBC Radio One back in April, involves brash guitar yet modest piano, and is accompanied by a live video of the track’s performance that allows fans an intimate insight into the studio recording process. Interestingly, the album draws to a close with understated, stripped-back track, “Night So Long”. The most vulnerable song on the record, Danielle sings “I say goodbye to love again // and loneliness my only friend”, as the choral harmonies of Alana and Este create a haunting tone to the track. Only time well tell if the band’s second studio album receives the public commendation it deserves.
Haim’s Something To Tell You is out this Friday, July 7th, via Polydor Records, and is available to pre-order now.
Words by Kate Eldridge