Review by Clare Knight
This trio of very laid back Californian rockers has been plastered all over the festival scene this summer and not to mention on constant play across a variety of radio stations. Their blend of nineties/rock/RnB/Fleetwood Mac infused music first caught my attention a while back and it seems that they have had the same effect on quite a number of others. Today marks the release of Haim’s highly anticipated debut album, Days Are Gone.
As a big Fleetwood Mac fan I was bound to like their album having heard snippets of songs online and seeing them perform live. But if you are not such a fan of the recently reformed Mac then don’t be put off from listening to this album. In their own right they are talented songwriters and musicians and with that said I shall try to expertly swerve my way around any comparisons to popular bands from now on. Days Are Gone is a polished album that oozes intricacies from every corner; each time I listen I hear a new guitar part or a percussion break that I had not noticed the first time around. They had already released four singles from the album prior to it’s release, which were Forever, Don’t Save Me, Falling and The Wire. These singles sound even better when incorporated in this album as a whole and I have a feeling that some more production was done on them for this release. Tracks like The Wire showcase the layered sounds perfectly whilst leaving enough room for the lyrics to be understood… they do have unusual singing styles after all! It is also one of the few tracks that feature lead vocals from all three sisters.
Tracks such as If I Could Change Your Mind, Running If You Call My Name, Honey & I and My Song 5 are the ones that I had yet to hear and they are definitely not fillers for the album, in my humble opinion. They could easily be singles and I hope that the record company will let the band release more from this album, therefore receiving more credit for it. Although they are often compared to a very well known 70s band (I said I would try to swerve comparisons but this could be tricky) a track that completely counter acts that idea is My Song 5. You will have to ask the band for the story behind why it is titled as such but it is a down and dirty hip hop/RnB track that could easily fit into the FutureSex/LoveSounds album from a certain pop icon.
The title track, Days Are Gone feels like a 90s anthem revamped for the 2010s and features extra songwriting talent from Jessie Ware and Tom Hull. On a songwriting credit note, I am happy to see that all the songs were written by Este, Danielle and Alana with only a few extra credits to external songwriters. The two songs that I ended up playing on repeat were If I Could Change Your Mind and Running If You Call My Name, either of which could easily be their next single. They incorporate the winning combination of a melody driven verse, a harmony filled chorus and intricate instrumentation throughout.
Days Are Gone is the kind of album that you need to listen to in one go in order to get a bigger picture of what Haim sound like. It is exciting and unexpected in parts and I will also say that this was not a predictable debut album. They look cool and they sound cool, bring on album #2!