Worth the Wait: Haim Returns

Chelsea Lauren / Getty Images

The L.A. sister-group ends a long hiatus and charts a new direction.

Nearly four years have passed since the Los Angeles trio Haim released its debut album, Days Are Gone, to critical acclaim; the record’s sun-drenched soft rock (see: “The Wire,” “Falling”) earned the band comparisons to the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac, plus a Grammy nod for Best New Artist in 2015. On July 7, the band—comprising sisters Este, 31 (bass); Danielle, 28 (lead vocals, guitars); and Alana Haim, 25 (guitars, keyboards)—finally returns with its much-anticipated sophomore effort, Something to Tell You.

What to expect? The group’s signature charms—three-part harmonies, rhythm guitar riffs—are back in full force. The album’s sparkling lead single, “Want You Back,” is an apt example: The staccato chorus hits Haim’s retro-pop sweet spot, but a skittering synth roots the track in 2017. (Sonically, this old-meets-new vibe makes sense: For Something to Tell You, the group reunited with producer Ariel Rechtshaid, who worked on Days Are Gone, and also enlisted Rostam Batmanglij, formerly of indie-rock outfit Vampire Weekend.) The new material seems to address the group’s extended absence: “Want You Back” is a pledge to a lost love that easily doubles as a promise to fans who’ve been waiting for this record. “I’ll give you all the love I never gave before I left you,” Danielle sings in the refrain. “Just know that I want you back.”

Other standout tracks include “Right Now” (which was recorded live in the studio; its intimate accompanying video was directed by Magnolia’s Paul Thomas Anderson), “Little of Your Love,” and “Nothing’s Wrong.” The verdict? Yes, Haim has something to tell you—and, yes, it’s worth listening to every syllable.

 

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