Relentless touring and an agonising eighteen months spent on perfecting their imperfect West Coast sound, Haim have progressed incredibly since playing with their parents in Rockinhaim. A close family environment has transpired into amazing musicianship; present in complex layering made to seem effortless, playful harmonies, and even catchier hooks in ‘The Wire’ and ‘Go Slow’.
‘Days Are Gone’ is like a succubus digesting every style; ranging from clear RnB influence in ‘My Song 5’, to the heavier ‘Let Me Go’. Though the latter feels similar to Jack White and The Strokes, Haim aren’t girls imitating their idols; they’re merely moulding to create a unique sound.
Despite drawing influence from girl bands TLC and Destiny’s Child, Haim makeover a genre filled with sameness, cheesy confessions and manufacturing, into self-penned and credible pop. Like Jessie Ware, they are honest, fun and no longer a guilty pleasure to sing into hair brushes.
Other major influences derive from British/American band Fleetwood Mac. Comparing ‘Falling’ and ‘Go Slow’ to Mac’s pop-orientated period between 1975-1987, it is evident that ‘Little Lies’, ‘Everywhere’ and ‘Don’t Stop’ have provided footing for a harmony-lead, multi-vocalist style. Another similarity can be seen in the subtlety of keyboards used in ‘Everywhere’ and ‘Falling’. Though the latter isn’t as cheesy, both are used to complete a catchy melody, rather than take over it.
Furthermore, Glastonbury and Reading have illustrated that these sisters perform with more angst than any male counterpart (sorry Palma Violets). No doubt old tracks from the ‘Falling’ EP, as well as new ones added to ‘Days Are Gone’ such as, ‘Honey & I’ and ‘The Wire’, will induce drunken moves that would make Miley Cyrus blush.
However, there is a reason why ‘Days Are Gone’ has only four stars.
Yes, it’s incredibly picky, but the album order was perfect until ‘Running If You Call My name’ came last. In amongst incredibly strong material, it fell flatter than a comb over. Of course, it is still the dog’s b******s, yet ‘Let Me Go’s’ jungle-like drums and drama would have been a much stronger finish to a fantastic album.
Diversity is another issue, as most tracks feel too similar to others. Although one can also counter-argue Haim have their own style, with uniqueness trumping music from an influx of other indie bands.
Overall ‘Days Are Gone’ is a début worth pre-ordering for its 30th September release, and Haim deserve to slap a smug smile on their overly cool faces.