HAIM – Days Are Gone

By Courtney Heron

Subbed by Darryl White

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IMG_0773The sisters Haim consist of: Este the resident bass face expert, Danielle lead vocalist/guitarist and youngest Alana the guitarist, keyboard and percussion player. Growing up in Los Angeles with musical parents they were tossed into a family band ‘Rockinhaim’ playing local venues. Though in a musical household they were hardly the Von Trapps. The family focused on playing classic rock anthems mixed with motown. That childhood influence is very much present in the sound of their debut album Days Are Gone.

The first song on their album Falling starts off with a pulsating drumbeat bringing a nostalgic 90’s RnB feel. Highlighted by the funky sounding bass and Destiny’s Child like harmonisation of the soulful sisters. This similarly can be found in If I Could Change Your Mind.

Don’t be fooled this is hardly a soul album. The dulcet tones of the girls sound similar to those of Stevie Nicks, emphasising the more country folk aspect of the band. Their newest single The Wire has a twanging guitar blended with the talkative nature of the lyrics mimicking features found in your average country song. However this is no average country song. There is a distinct combination of country infused with soft rock, which gives it an edge that can also be found in the song Honey & I.

This smorgasbord of sound doesn’t just stop with soul, country and 70’s soft rock there is an element of 80’s synth present in almost all of the bands songs. The song Let Me Go has an almost tribal sounding start using ingenious drum sounds, an absorbing bass at the heart of the song and a classic rock sounding guitar solo layered with vocals as the song reaches a synth apex.

The album as a whole is one of heartbreak yet unconventionally done. It avoids the cliché aspect of blaming your ex. The album is more about learning from your mistakes and finding yourself, as the lyrics are not too emotionally heavy.

The album’s production is refreshing, streamlined and slick sounding. It has resisted urge to be bogged down by unnecessary auto tune as many large production teams seem do nowadays.

This is an exciting time for music. Where different features of genres are combined to make new sound. The likes of The 1975, Sky Ferreria, AlunaGeorge and CHVRCHES are artiest also endeavouring in this.

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