By Patrick Campbell
Released September 27th, 2013 - Universal
Haim have been making music for years. Being in a family band as kids, music was always there and now for the past six years, the three Haim sisters have been working together with drummer Dash Hutton. Although it took four and half years, they released an EP, and following some successful gigs at SXSW 2012, they have been touring and releasing music since. Finally, the band has released their debut albumDays Are Gone, and their following - which is growing day by day - is very excited.
The BBC Sound Of 2013 winners' eleven track debut starts with the single Falling, a swift, recognisable start to the album. Showcasing their interesting sound and easing you in, this is followed by a re-working of their first single Forever and latest single The Wire. These songs are no stranger to most listeners of the band, they showcase the essence of Haim's sound; bouncy, catchy tunes which you can sing along to in the car, or embarrass yourself dancing to at a party. If I Could Change Your Mind is the first completely new song on the album, and it does not disappoint, it reminds you why the band is constantly referred to as "Our generation's answer to Fleetwood Mac with maybe just a little Destiny's Child in there". This is followed by another new track; Honey & I, this is my favourite song they perform live, and it has translated well in the studio. The Hawaiian vibes and the school bell ringing through the chorus make this the most interesting and exciting love song of the year, presumably telling the story of two young teenagers in love. Following the killer singleDon't Save Me, bass player and oldest sister Este has said that title track Days Are Gone "is just so much fun", and that is the easiest way to explain it. This is the first song where we hear Este take the lead vocals instead of lead singer Danielle. Este works through the verses with gritty vocals that play through your mind, asking you which classic 80s diva are you reminded of? Co-written by Jessie Ware, this track has the disco aesthetic that you hear in a lot of her music, and takes the band to a much more technical sound than we have heard before. My Song 5 follows in this route, playing with vocal distortion and variations of a deep brass rhythm. The bridge alone makes it a stand out track on the album. This song also best displays the production skills of Ariel Rechtshaid, turning this song into a masterpiece of experimentation that definitely has some Kanye West influences in it. After hearing this you'll be repeating "Honey I'm not your honey pie" in your deepest voice for days.
Another re-working of a song from their first EP shows just how talented these girls are, full of rich harmonies and layering this simple song doesn't bring the album down at all. The live set closer Let Me Goironically is the second to last track on the album, and comes complete with more intense vocal layering, but without the famous two minute drum display at the end. It leads to the final track Running If You Call My Name. This song is a haunting end to the album, an anthem of defiance and freedom. This song is like Bat For Lashes with the percussion you'd expect on a Johnny Clegg album, it finishes the album unexpectedly but brilliantly.
This album is Haim in essence; it's a mash-up of genres and harks back to the 70s and 80s. This album has been anticipated and awaited for nearly a year, and I don't think there will be one person who is disappointed by it. Every single song on here has its own sound, and can hold its own. The only down side to the album is that there is not more! Because after one listen more is all you want, but I am just as happy to have the album on a loop for hours. This band has provided my album of the year, and I can't wait to be playing it throughout summer and in years to come.
5 / 5