4 years ago, HAIM’s debut was a breath of fresh air in the pop music scene. 4 years later, the alternative-pop band are back and bolder than ever. “Something To Tell You” similarly takes vintage themes and mixes catchy, contemporary elements together, as the years of evolution spent finding the band’s best tracks were fully demonstrated. Every song is proven not to be single-dimensional.
“Something To Tell You” helps bring a more refined and personal touch to the band’s sound, while the band’s rough, rock-style side is not as present. Case and point, opening track “Want You Back” is heartfelt and filled to the core with the trio’s sense of pleading for love. While this is a popular and relatable theme, production also has a drop of its own and very captivating in itself. The chorus helps release an unusual sensation, an introduction to the same HAIM, which at the same time had evolved so much.
The record’s second single, “Little Of Your Love,” furthered the idea of a vintage aesthetic even more. Band member Danielle Haim told Pitchfork the driving concepts behind the track’s irresistible ’50s rock nature – “We were obsessed with this idea that, throughout every decade, there’d be songs that we love that hearken back to that ’50s rock vibe. So we wondered: What does it sound like in 2017?”
HAIM’s successful attempt at mixing genres is clear throughout the entire album. For example, “Ready For You”, listed as band member Este Haim’s favourite song on the record, seamlessly mixes the popular tropical-pop influences as the chorus breaks out into a vintage-style guitar solo across many glorious backing vocals and a fun choice of drums. The fluid thinking is shown to all band members, as Danielle states they had even used a drum machine price used, demonstrating the progression in production and through.
Other tracks on the LP focus on subjects that connect more solely to themselves as they relate to their position in the world. “You Never Knew”, explains that very struggle of not knowing. Living the life of an alternative musician touring the world seems fun at first, but comes with its downside being constantly unavailable, making relationships tough. The girls come to a relieved conclusion though, as they sing “I guess you never knew what was good for you.” The production assisted by Dev Hynes (an example of his production input is this gem right here) was again spectacular, as the guitar and smooth backing vocals provide a beautifully smooth flow to the track.
HAIM is astonishingly able at taking any topic, and turning a mixture of cohesive and captivating art. One of the final tracks, “Found It In Silence” has an extremely orchestral instrumental, focusing on a very personal love-filled issue. (“I was blind, wasn’t I” / “There’s no going back, I know what’s good for me”) Final track “Night So Long” has a very eerie vibe as the sophomore LP closes, grappling that feeling of loneliness that creeps up to everyone, sometimes even when they might be surrounded by people. This is a goodbye to a lover, to a friend, to the listener, to love. Stunning vocals aboard a deep-sounding guitar leave the listener emotional to the end. The girls did make it clear from the very album title that they’ve got statements to tell.
“Something To Tell You” is the perfect heartfelt, soul-filled, Summer LP, a journey that lingers much longer than its runtime, and that’s why I can conclude HAIM has released one of my favorite records of 2017 with no doubt.
Essentials: Want You Back, Ready For You, You Never Knew, Found It In Silence
(9 / 10)