Taking a softly, softly approach, San Fernando Valley band Haim – sisters Este (bass), Alana (guitar/keyboards), Danielle Haim (guitars/vocals), and Dash Hutton (drums) – has taken four years to follow up their debut album, Days are Gone.
That album very quickly turned into a benchmark for how to apply a lick of gloss paint to 1980s/1990s pop music; not since the giddy days of MT USA and beyond were names such as Pat Benatar, Laura Branigan, Cyndi Lauper and Debbie Gibson bandied about with such eagerness. Factor in broader strokes of Stevie Nicks and lighter shades of Alanis Morissette, and you had music that sounded so American it had stars and stripes oozing from every note. Haim, however, had something extra in their arsenal: just when you thought it was going to get cheesier than a shed load of Easi Singles, you were slam-dunked with killer pop hooks and detailed musicianship. Days are Gone was, as with most debuts, a mixture of shots in the dark and more than several years spent processing experiences; musicianship is rarely more than proficient and never less than enthusiastic. Something to Tell You is equal parts the latter and much more than the former, but it’s also about something else: songcraft.
Recorded with long-time collaborator/friend Ariel Rechtshaid and former Vampire Weekend member and producer Rostam Batmanglij, Haim more expertly bridge the gap between pristine pop, commercial soul and wistful R&B.
Musically, it’s all very shiny, summery and sunny, lyrically less so. If the nagging flaw is that the whole isn’t as whip-smart as
some of its constituent parts
(tunes such as Want you Back, Little of Your Love, Something to
Tell You, Kept Me Crying and Walking Away evoke pitch meetings in songwriting rooms, with varying degrees of success), then it’s certainly not for the want of aiming very high indeed. haimtheband.com
HAIM Something to Tell You