ALBUM REVIEW: HAIM – Days Are Gone
In-between supporting; Florence and the Machine, Mumford and Sons and Rihanna, playing the Pyramid stage at this year’s Glastonbury and turning down the chance to collaborate with Arctic Monkeys on single ‘Do I Wanna Know.’ Not forgetting writing and producing their debut album – ‘Days Are Gone’ It’s safe to say its been busy year for Haim, yet still keeping their cool and continuing with their meticulous ways, they haven’t let the massive hype affect the release of their debut album.
The release was pushed back from spring to summer, as the girls felt the album had more of a summer aesthetic. They then again delayed the album a fraction longer, finally committing to a release date of 30th September, leaving fans waiting patiently. In exchange for the slight delay and out of sheer excitement Este, Danielle and Alana released first single ‘The Wire.’ Finally ‘Days Are Gone’ can now be played through your speakers on repeat if you wish, but was it worth the wait? With a worry of too much hype lingering around the debut, also noticing that under half the album is made up of tracks which fans would have already heard, panic begins to set in will the remaining album tracks be enough to exceed expectations of the most hyped album off 2013? ‘Falling’ mimics the anticipation of the listeners heartbeat, so anxious that they don’t want to be let down by the hype. Instead we are greeted with a familiar yet powerful start to the album remembering the talent which these girls truly possess. ‘Falling’ will have you falling deeper within Haim’s spell, bouncing of the drums, boogying to the groovy guitar along with being motivated through uplifting lyrics “Never look back, Never give up…” the line which will be embedded in your minds.
“Hey you remember me?” Yes we do actually, the first track we fell in love back in February 2012. The transition from ‘Falling’ into ‘Forever’ keeps the pace of the album flowing with that familiarity into recent single and festival favourite ‘The Wire.’ However the track might not sound exactly how you might remember it. In the re-recorded version changes to the intro have been made. Removing the delightful summery guitar beats which once started the track to a more purposeful slicked back guitar riff. In taking the raw quality away from the voice by adding electronic fills behind the vocals embellishing the emotion within the hook. ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’ and ‘Honey & I’ are completely fresh to our ears as Danielle sings about love and the rollercoaster it is. With 80’s flashes we start to see those Fleetwood Mac comparisons coming out again within the harmonies. ‘Don’t Save Me’ still serves as one of the strongest tracks on the album, with a hook so infectious you will be singing it for days. Not only that but the melodic pop beats will have you bouncing around like a summer day that you don’t want end. ‘Don’t Save Me’ is the sort of track would be perfect to have the roof down blasting out while taking a road trip somewhere, not having a care in the world.
As the youngest Haim Alana steps up the vocal plate, in title track, ‘Days Are Gone’ co-written with Jessie Ware we see that these girls aren’t just a one trick pony but they all take the reins. Revelling in nostalgia and sweet sounding electronica blended with synth you’ll be swaying reminiscing about life in a rose tinted state, with only memories of the good old days. ‘My Song 5’ isn’t Haim’s usual dish of melodic up beat pop, instead they have infused far more in this gritty track. A more aggressive side edges the girls into the rock realm, with their cut throat vocals surrounded by; a pounding drums , wavering bass lines, guitars riffs so slick with sparks of electronica, emphasising the spite which comes with lyric “Honey, I’m not your honey-pie,”. Taken from their very first E.P ‘Go Slow’ is the last of familiar tracks on the album, some might argue that another new jam would have been nice. But ‘Go Slow’ brings the pace right down where the sister’s dreamy vocals resonated with the smooth percussion, could be floating amongst the gentle waves of rhythm. ‘Let Me Go’ is an instant love on the album. Starting off with the Danielle’s anguished vocals with underlying strings soon to be joined with fierce drums and backing vocals, “You know I’m not one for leaving.” The pace takes a frantic change showing the girls are stronger than this mentally and musically. As the penultimate track on the album they get ready to finish in style with the type of guitar riffs you’ll be re-enacting like a champion air guitarist along with strutting around the place wishing you with fourth member of Haim. As you heart begins to sink from the ‘Hey ho ho’ with the creeping nostalgia for the slow soul baring ‘Running If You Call My Name.’ Lead with attentive drums, Danielle’s vocals so pensive and pure, hanging on every lyric she sings.
So was it worth the wait?
Haim have crafted the perfect album where melancholy has never seemed so happy. ‘Running If You Call My Name’ has Danielle’s vocals pulling at heart strings and oozing with nostalgia. On first listen only a fool would say they felt let down by the album without giving it a second chance. In giving it a chance you can clearly see how versatile these girls are, falling deeper into that Haim magic we all fell in love with to start with.
Haim’s Debut – ‘Days Are Gone’ is set for release 30th September with Polydor Records.
Haim are also on tour this December, tickets can be purchased from Seetickets