Patience Kayira '20
Assistant Arts Editor
HAIM, a three sister group from Los Angeles with a distinct ’70s aesthetic, released their latest album “Something to Tell You” on July 7 of this year. “Something to Tell You” is the band’s second album. The first, “Days are Gone,” debuted in 2013 as an EP.
Since then, the band has released a series of covers, with their most recent being a rendition of Shania Twain’s “Don’t Impress Me Much.” With an elegant, laid-back fervor, and a mixture of varying musical styles, “Something to Tell You” eptiomizes the essence of 2017 indie, hipster-tude.
The unadorned vocals of the lead singer Danielle adds an earthy ’60s nomadic vibe to the album. Furthermore, sisters Este and Alana contribute rhythmic intensity with their percussive instruments and sweet harmonies.
Described by The Atlantic as a blend of ’80s and ’90s rock, HAIM garners inspiration from a series of musical styles and artists. Often being compared to Fleetwood Mac, “Something to Tell You” builds upon the group’s influences of pop- rock, hip-hop and indie pop.
Comprised of 11 tracks, “Something to Tell You” communicates a roller coaster of emotions. Revolving around the theme of heartbreak, the album operates on two levels. Upon first glance, the album may appear as an effusive letter of irritation and longing or a plea for good riddance.
With the album’s cover art featuring the three sisters, shaded in wide rimmed yellow-tinged glasses and posing coolly, the album maintains a distance between the artists and their fans.
Steering from the basic approach of making explicit allusions to past relationships, a technique often employed by the music industry’s finest pop stars, “Something to Tell You” allows listeners to develop their own connections to the lyrics. Each song is broad enough to allow for imagination, yet still sensitive to the subject of heartache.
Beginning with the single, “Want you Back,” the album starts off on an upbeat note with Danielle’s, lead vocalist, smooth alto voice. “Want you Back” features a mixture of unobtrusive digitized percussive elements that are reminiscent of‘80s -’90s pop.
One of the two songs on this album that has been adapted into a music video, the lyrics convey the desire of rekindling a lost connection. With the reeling repetition of “Just know that I want you back” in the chorus, the song pleads an apology to the “dumped” individual.
However, the music video presents a different motive. In the video, the three sisters strut down the middle of an abandoned street dancing slightly, projecting the trope of an unapologetic ex. Their confidence and relaxed facial expressions contradict the lyrics’ implications ofdesperation. The audio itself also conveys confidence and surety, communicating that it is possible to retain one’s pride when returning to a relinquished relationship.
The remainder of the album progresses through the varying stages in the aftermath of a breakup. The listener experiences the recollection of the wrongdoings within a past relationship through, “Nothing’s Wrong.” The repetition of “t-tell me” in the chorus produces a rhythmic effect while also mimicking the pleading stutter of a someone awaiting to hear bad news.
“Little Love” explores the glowing heydays of a second chance with the motif, “you gotta give me just a little of your love.” Within each track the band showcases their versatility in achieving a range of styles. With tracks like “Something to Tell You,” HAIM displays their ability to produce a soft-rock sound, while the semi-synthesized sound of “Walking Away” shows the band’s fusion of contemporary R&B and pop.
The last track, “Night so Long,” revels in a melancholic proclamation of “saying goodbye to love” and embracing loneliness. The shortest track on the album, this single is void of overt technological interference. The voices of Alana, Este and Danielle ring out in a full, nearly acapella harmony.
Despite HAIM’s off-the-riverbank sound and style, mainstream artists such as Taylor Swift are dedicated supporters. With a steadily increasing popularity, HAIM appears to be a group with a promising future.