Music: Haim – Days Are Gone

You can't get away from Haim these days. Every magazine seems to have interviewed them (especially the kind that I read) and every radio station is blasting their raw folky rock. I loved Don't Save Me when it was a new single on British popular radio last year and first saw the band live at Glastonbury this year.

The debut album, which hit the shelves over here on 30th September, has provoked a mixed response. I personally had been looking forward to it ever since witnessing their appearance on the Pyramid stage. But there are those who have greeted the American cool kids with coolness. And worse.

Crack Magazine of Bristol said: "If there’s something to ‘get’, then we don’t get it. If this is actually it, this is what Haim is, and Haim sound like 2013, then we might all be even more fucked than we thought." We all know that it is only unskilled journalists who swear in their reviews, and I wander if the writer has a) ever had any training in music, and b) even listened to the album closely.

Quietus of London, on the other hand, started their opinion with: "There's something suspiciously perfect about Haim", and I have to say I agree. I wouldn't usually start my own review with an appraisal of others' opinions, but I felt quite riled by them – especially Crack Magazine's take on things. I am not averse to somebody disagreeing with me (bring it on!), but Crack has published a short and short-sighted piece and I felt provoked to air my disagreement with it (+ swearing in a review is universally poor form).

Anyway, having finally got round to having a good listen to these girls on a fifteen-track record, I don't feel disappointed. On the contrary; theirs is an endlessly energetic and varied brand of indie rock-pop. The well-known tracks Falling; Forever and Don't Save Me are bright and confident. But there is also a softer and more calm and reflective personality in some of the songs. If I Could Change Your Mind is a classic coming of age tale – very likeable. Running If You Call My Name is similar in that way. And I like the conviction of Let Me GoMy Song 5 is a favourite. It is fresh and definitely sits at the pop end of things with its substantial bass and chant-like verses.

I just love the band's rawness. They definitely have a different accent from the other pop acts out there and their rock incorporates enough folk and indie influences to keep the stuff sounding new and interesting. Plus when I saw the three sisters perform live, it was clear that they are all skilled musicians. If you're looking for something light and energetic, this album comes highly recommended.

Photo: promotional/Haim



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