Haim - Days Are Gone
Haim haven’t released an album yet. It may seem like they have, but they haven't. Despite appearances at festivals across the country, a full debut on Later With…, top slot on the ever present BBC Sound of 2013, numerous EPs, Days Are Gone is their first long player. Three LA sisters (Este, Danielle, and Alana) and drummer Dan Hutton have garnered significant dollops of hype just by drip feeding their music into the collective consciousness. Add to that the fact that this album was originally scheduled for release in June and the sense of expectation is palpable. Full marks to their marketing bods for keeping us all onside for the best part of a year.
Luckily for the band the appetites that have been whet so far as going to be reasonably satiated when the last notes of these eleven tracks ring out. ‘Falling’ and ‘Forever’ are exactly what you’d expect the band to deliver: funky, angular pop at its finest. ‘The Wire’ slows things down, with a smooth vocal and a touch of r’n’b styled soft rock. As an opening salvo it works: it’s catchy, edgy, pop of a kind that few others dare deliver. And in aiming high Haim have no shame in borrowing from the past, as the mix of 80s sound effects and soft Americana riff that lends ‘Honey & I’ something different shows. There’s also a scent of that decade that continues with ‘Don’t Save Me’ and the title track. The momentum is slightly lost on the opening of penultimate track ‘Let Me Go’ but it grows to a strong end. It’s a shame then that ‘Running If You Call My Name’, a by-the-numbers Haim track, brings an end to proceedings
If there’s a criticism, then it’s the fact it’s all a tiny bit same-y. Add to that the fact you’ve most likely heard all the best tunes (‘Falling’ and ‘The Wire’) already, in that carefully orchestrated year long pre-release campaign. On the whole though, Haim are different enough to justify the attention, even if as a listening experience it could do with a touch more real diversity. With a bit more of a stretch you feel there’s something really special waiting to come.