Album Of The Week: Haim ‘Days Are Gone’

JAMES LOWTHER reviews the latest effort from Haim and is impressed with the result.

days are gone family fleetwood mac girlband haim sisters

haim-days-are-gone

Haim’s debut album, ‘Days Are Gone’, charted at #1 last weekend. They seem to have taken the world by storm, and with their infectious pop-rock style, it’s easy to see why.  Now a household name, the Haim sisters have proved that there’s still room in the charts for electric guitars and vocal harmonies.

This album has been long-awaited. They released their first single, ‘Forever’, early in 2012, and have since released a steady stream of fantastic singles, including ‘The Wire‘ and ‘Don’t Save Me’. It seems the wait was entirely worth it, however, as Haim have managed to create what many will consider to be the album of the year. The whole thing is slick and produced by some of the best around, who’ve worked on the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Vampire Weekend. That’s not to say that the girls themselves aren’t talented, as anyone who’s seen some of their live shows will tell you: unlike the saccharine sweet pop found on the album, their live shows are fiercely intense, showcasing more of the rock than the pop.

There’s something wholesome about the fact that the three girls have been working together for so long, starting off in a family band, breaking into the Tween-pop world as The Valli Girls and finally settling into Haim. It’s hard to think that they were making songs like this in the early 2000’s:

It seems a bit of a shame that they’re so often compared to Fleetwood Mac, as it denies them a bit of their identity. And although this ‘criticism’, if you’d call it that, definitely applies to songs such as ‘Honey & I’, they’re so much more than that. Although they occasionally do seem a bit like the Mac, most of their singles are dripping with 80’s pop charm, and the lyrics are straight out of 90’s R&B.

Haim are all about percussion. From creaking doors to Phil Collins-esque drums, Haim definitely know how to create a song filled to the brim with rhythm. In a recent interview, Haim admitted that they often start off their tracks with the drum beat, and build on all the other layers from there. The end result, showcased brilliantly in a track like ‘Better Off’, means that it’s difficult to listen to a Haim song without tapping along.

Spot a family resemblance?

Spot a family resemblance?

Haim are a band that are best enjoyed on a hot summer’s day. They might not deliver the best lyrics in the world (just take a look at the lyrics for ‘Let Me Go’), but that’s sort of the point. They don’t take themselves too seriously, and nor should we. If you’re looking for an album that you can stick on repeat, chill out to or even start a party with, you’d be hard pushed to find a better album this year.