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14 July 2017

Why you should listen to Haim

The band's new album Something to Tell You combines mature lyrics and ridiculously catchy hooks.

By Anna Leszkiewicz

Days are Gone, the 2013 debut album from LA-based band Haim, received glowing reviews. Sisters Este, Danielle and Alana Haim had hit on a sweet spot between 1990s R&B and 1970s rock – a nostalgic sound that played with complex harmonies, unusual rhythms and slick production, and one that often earned them comparisons to both Destiny’s Child and Fleetwood Mac. The sisters have even performed with and interviewed Stevie Nicks for a polished feature in the New York Times.

Five years later, those comparisons seem even more apt. The band’s new album, Something to Tell You, remains rooted in the same blend of genres, if at times infused with glossier pop tones, possibly influenced by Taylor Swift, who they supported on her biggest stadium tour to date.

Haim are a rare phenomenon: rock musicians celebrated in mainstream pop circles; a band in a world that reveres solo artists.

If they’ve not reached superstardom yet – lacking what Billboard calls “a crossover smash” – it’s not for want of trying. This record’s irresistible combination of offbeat rhythms, mature lyrics about the frustrations of relationships, and ridiculously catchy hooks seem designed for stadiums. And Haim have run a well orchestrated media campaign – including cool, aesthetically unified photoshoots, trendy secret shows and interviews in which they studiously avoid any controversial questions.

Like the famously ambitious Swift, Haim have carved a niche in the market – on-trend but substantial music with a wide audience, appealing to both your dad’s taste for percussion-heavy rock and your little sister’s love of Nineties throwback pop. Yes, they sound like Fleetwood Mac, but they seem set on becoming as big as them, too. 

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This article appears in the 12 Jul 2017 issue of the New Statesman, The Maybot malfunctions