Exactly 10 years ago on the very same day as the release of their sophomore album, HAIM played their first ever show, at a clown museum in Los Angeles, opening for a Harry Potter band. Their first radio play came from a station in London where they subsequently signed to their first label, Polydor Records.
Cut to today, where the valley trio of sisters are headlining at Glastonbury, guest starring on SNL not one, but two times, and are about to head back on the road for festivals and shows all across North America. Their road to success has being nothing short of unconventional, which poetically mirrors the uniqueness of their sound and persona alike. As far as talent goes, it is truly hard to express in words how much of it lies within the Haim sisters. Individually they have it, but when put together, they explode into something entirely different – entirely above the realm. The blind faith they have in each other comes through in their songs, harmonies, and performances making them a one-of-a-kind band.
Hypnotizing rhythms, unmatched musicianship, and lyrics as thoughtful, heart wrenching and relatable as words can be; this is just one way to describe HAIM’s pop-rock sophomore album, Something to Tell You (released 7/7/2017 via Columbia Records). The album isn’t too far from the catchy, unapologetic, pop anthems we fell in love with on HAIM’s debut Days Are Gone: It takes the core of what makes HAIM, HAIM, and amplifies it to the next level. The album has not only ’90s nostalgia with tracks like “Little of Your Love,” but also ’70s and ’80s nostalgia with tracks like “Night So Long” and “Ready For You.” And then there are songs that are entirely specific to HAIM in their own right, like “Something to Tell You” and “Walking Away.” Songs such as “Want You Back” and “Right Now” are both staples of the wide range of sound HAIM can effortlessly pull off – one is a catchy pop-anthem and the other is a slightly offbeat, heartbreaking pop-rock ballad; they are completely different, yet flawlessly intertwined.
The rest of the album runs the gamut, pushing and pulling different sounds yet flowing together seamlessly at the same time. This is not an easy task, but HAIM have managed to do it. Every note, beat, and lyric was meticulously chosen – each track has a story to tell. Ultimately, Something To Tell You is a compilation of powerful harmonies, intricate beats, soothing chords, and poetically simplistic lyrics. It’s an album that holds songs that are timelessly relatable, allowing it live on forever, and to be revisited time and time again by those who need to hear it.
Something to Tell You :: Highlights
Ready for You
Bassist Este HAIM’s self proclaimed favorite track on the album “Ready For You” is a pop masterpiece that inevitably influences a stellar mood. It’s clean crisp sounds matched with high harmonies, bellowing 808’s, and walking bass lines all driven by rhythm make the track irresistible. The bridge takes you by complete surprise. The lyrics portray a confidence that is evident in the sisters; the lyrics are also some of possibly the most optimistic of the album. 80s and 90s nostalgia trickle in and out as the HAIM sings,
I promise I’ll treat you right
Been waiting my whole damn life
Baby, it’s about time
I wasn’t ready for you
Funny how this whole game played
Three years since I learned your name
The wrong time, the wrong place
I wasn’t ready for you
Something to Tell You
The title track of the album is perfectly placed smack dab in the middle. “Something To Tell You,” is most reminiscent of their debut album. With soft calming verses exploding into surprising choruses. Danielle’s unique voice calmly guides us through the verse. Drums drop in and out along with the bass leading to the chorus where Alana and Este join Danielle with satisfying harmonies. Along with the sound being exactly what HAIM fans are longing to hear, the lyrics tackle head on a lot of what the album is about; having to say goodbye to someone when it’s not necessarily what you want, but you know it is what you need.
Found It In Silence
“Found It In Silence” is an inevitable stand out on “Something To Tell You.” A bevy of strings pulse in the background throughout the entirety of the song. Strings are not a common thread amongst HAIM songs, which is why the standout is evident and welcomed. However it does stay on par with their style by being rhythmically driven. The lyrics of this song are so powerful. They wrap up that moment when something just clicks, and you’re able to walk away from something that isn’t right even when for so long you tried so hard to make it right. A lot of times, that moment is found in silence.
But I found it in silence,
I finally see (I finally see)
There’s no turning back,
I know what’s good for me
“Walking Away” is one of the more stripped down songs on the album with a grooves and beats that are as unique as they are steady. Danielle’s deep voice sings the verses quickly and coolly before the sisters join with high, raspy, and peaceful notes to bring the chorus. The sister’s vocal and lyrical prowess shine through in “Walking Away.”
Night So Long
The melancholy closure to an otherwise upbeat album rounding out the heartbreak that is prevalent throughout. Sadly saying goodbye to love again and reluctantly trudging forward. The track almost feels like a 70s rock ballad. However, It also holds such an epic anthem feel, especially when the harmonies ensue steeped in reverb. It is a goodbye to the love, and a goodbye to the album. It is a peaceful ending with a blissful goodbye.
:: Final Thoughts ::
Something To Tell You has something for everyone. It’s an album that has been worked through and worked on for three years, and this shows. HAIM has done it again – be sure to give this album a listen and check out the band on their North American tour this fall.
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photo © Columbia Records