Days Are Gone by Haim

Days Are Gone by Haim

 

Having topped BBC’s prestigious Sound Of 2013 poll, it’s no stretch to claim that Days Are Gone is the most awaited debut album to hit stores this year. Having steadily accumulated online hype by releasing one groovy single after another, as well as word-of-mouth publicity through energetic live performances, the Los Angeles-based quartet have set themselves up for a solid career combining Fleetwood Mac-inspired easy listening/folk rock with TLC-style vintage R&B.

 

Genre-wise they may be a tasty swirl of the quirky bits from the 80s and 90s, but in terms of attitude, the Haim sisters are genuine performers in the vein of Judas Priest or Led Zeppelin: bold, uninhibited, stylish, and much more at home in front of screaming fans than locked up in an airtight studio. That’s why it took so long to cobble together a dozen tracks to make a proper record: the girls quickly run out of ideas when they’re slaving away in some tiny little room.

 

TRACKLIST:
#1. Falling 4:17
#2. Forever 4:05
#3. The Wire 4:05
#4. If I Could Change Your Mind 3:50
#5. Honey & I 4:11
#6. Don’t Save Me 3:51
#7. Days Are Gone 3:33
#8. My Song 5 3:53
#9. Go Slow 4:17
#10. Let Me Go 4:08
#11. Running If You Call My Name 4:04

 

PERSONNEL:
Este Haim: Bass, Backing Vocals
Danielle Haim: Guitars, Lead Vocals
Alana Haim: Keyboards, Guitars, Backing Vocals
Dash Hutton: Drums, Percussion

 

PRODUCER:
Haim

 

DATE OF RELEASE:
27th September, 2013

 

SINGLES:
Forever
Don’t Save Me
Falling
The Wire

 

That’s not necessarily undesirable. Goodness knows we need more performance-oriented bands today instead of those who only shine within the protective walls of their studio, with their outsize producers doing most of the heavy lifting. At the same time, they’ve established a template that should eventually become their calling card on future releases: groovy bass and minimalist guitar lines complemented by dynamic vocals, solid keyboard chords, and Dash Hutton’s frenetic drum lines.

 

In most cases, Days Are Gone is good enough to leave you drooling with pleasure. Falling gets right to business – doing away with any pretense of a long-winded instrumental introduction – with their signature urban crooning overlaid over some really exceptional drum programming. But the girls are at the top of their game with Forever, a ska-pop number which is devoid of any stereotypical emo or artsy overtones, and sounds exactly like a cut from the feminine version of Red Hot Chili Peppers.

 

If I Could Change Your Mind reminds you how delicious 80s pop could be, while Honey & I is the sort of lo-fi jam bands stopped making at the turn of the millennium. One of the many missing elements that have led to rock’s gradual decline is the skillful use of minimalist principles. True to form, Haim borrow heavily from the texture-based approach of The Police on Don’t Save Me instead of drowning you in a wall of power chords.

 

The immediate hooks dry up in the final third, as the Californian sisters put the brakes on before the album is ruined by a lack of tonal variety. Thus, Go Slow and Let Me Go are much less liberal with the percussion and inclined towards experimental pursuits, completing the experience with the surprisingly reflective Running If You Call My Name. As with any good album, Haim leave out the fillers and avoid overstaying their welcome.

 

Nostalgia is what really powers this record. Whether it’s R & B before producers hijacked the genre with their ‘dope bass’ or gentle and aloof electronic techniques that DJ’s obsessed with ‘sick beats’ would shudder to associate with today, the more acute your longing for the music of yesteryear, the greater is your exhilaration.

 

 

 

 

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