Haim / Days Are Gone

Somewhere around the middle 2012, Mojo20 first showcased this trio of girls on our new releases feature, and when we first heard ‘Forever’ which they’ve credited as the song that caught everyone’s attention and got them as far as they’ve come, we also fell in love with the song, the subsequent EP and of course the girls themselves. We soon had the distinct pleasure of seeing them live, which of course we reviewed very positively based on the fact they were absolutely incredible, and in the intimate atmosphere of Nottingham’s Bodega social club, it soon became one of my personal favourite live shows that I’d ever seen.


So of course, this is all leading one way, and it’s been a long time, but at Mojo20; excitement has been in the air for a while now as the debut LP by Los Angeles sisters, Haim has finally arrived. So here we go. What do we think? Has the anticipation been for nothing? Is it all hype, or are these girls as big as we’ve always said? Is this the future of pop music? Let’s have a chat and see what we think…

I find myself torn on how to approach this first point because there are pros and cons to it, and even I am not sure how to interpret it. BUT, one thing about the album taking so long to come out is that when I first scanned the track listing, I not only knew a large portion of the songs, but had also bought and paid for them as part of a previous EP. On one hand this is great, because their first album is going to be a showcase of everything you already love about the band, but with a lot more to offer, then on the other hand, you feel like you’ve been waiting well over a year to hear the same stuff you’ve been listening to all along. But wait, what’s that? With a keen ear, you soon realise that songs such as ‘Forever’ and ‘Go Slow’ have had very minor re-workings, and they are extremely subtle changes, mainly based around the vocals, but it really does freshen things up and justifies the payment for the album. In fact, the subtle improvements on the already incredible ‘Go Slow’ made it almost a favourite from ‘Days Are Gone’.  The other tracks that have been previously released are of course ‘Don’t Save Me’ and ‘Falling’ which both in their own right, got a lot of radio play on release, so these will also be familiar to many other people.

New single ‘The Wire’ which was released just prior to the release of the album, is an incredibly well layered song, and reaffirms all original opinions of them as a group. We all originally likened them to Fleetwood Mac, and maybe even a gang of Alanis Morrisette’s but with style and a fresh modern outlook. This does all come out again on ‘The Wire’ with incredible harmonies, fantastic, and cool musicianship including a cameo appearance from a violin towards the end. Haim have shown once again that they know exactly how to write a song, and can use breaks, layers and harmonies to their advantage wherever they see fit. The music video is also a great accompaniment to the song, and really, ‘The Wire’ has done its job perfectly as it got everybody excited again for the release of ‘Days Are Gone’. It was actually a bit annoying to me who refused to illegally download music, because it meant that September’s Transmission had to miss out on having ‘The Wire’ involved in the set. October will be a different story.

‘Let Me Go’ had been released on iTunes prior to the official release of the album, and is another highlight of the album with an aggression emanating from the girls as never seen before. I did not pre-emptive visions of ‘Let me go’ being the last song on the album as a big crescendo style ending. With Danielle being considered the lead singer of the band, it’s refreshing and interesting to see Este, the bass player famous for her facial expressions and dirty mouth, taking on the microphone and showing everybody that the this is a trio of talent and a family effort that can’t be matched. The song heads towards a cluster of drums, guitar riffs and layers upon layers of harmonies, which I always expected would create the perfect end to a striking first album. I was wrong however as it features as track 10 of 11, and we actually head into ‘Running If You Call My Name’ which is a slightly more sentimental and reflective effort to close the album. Although the chorus is a catchy one and will have you playing the lyrics ‘Running if You Call My Name..’ over and over in your head, if you’re anything like me that is…

The exclusive tracks on the album include the synth heavy ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’, ‘Honey & I’ which features a summer surf-esque guitar riff that immediately grabs your attention and takes you back a good few months into the height of English summer. Although, the girls are from LA, it’s probably still being played on rotation there. There’s also the strong, down tempo ‘My Song 5’ which takes on a very different sound to everything we’ve heard so far, as it stands defiant against anybody that has wronged them before. Whether it’s hypothetical or not, who knows. But either way, don’t fuck about with Haim.

One thing these exclusive tracks all have in common, is there catchiness. They do also all gel together to create a brilliant piece of work from Haim, and to anybody that has just bought the album and discovered Haim in 2013, they’ll be very impressed and will no doubt have a new favourite band. But for us that have been there all the way, we have learnt nothing, gained very little, but maintain that Haim will one day rule the world. Yes, we may have heard most of it before, and the exclusives are an extension/addition to that but like I always say, if it isn’t broken, get off it…

Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)


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