HAIM – Women in Music Pt. III
The Haim sisters hail from Los Angeles and their sound is drenched in the sun; even if the lyrics are sometimes downbeat, the guitars and vocals are unmistakably breezy. Women in Music Pt.III, their third album, sounds like a descendant of Sheryl Crow’s All I Wanna Do, which somehow captures the absolute essence of summer in its guitars and vocals.
The album was scheduled for release in April, but Covid-19 pushed it back to the 26th of June. It was dubbed as one of the most anticipated albums of the year. The title is an eye roll to the fact that they, as women playing guitars, are still treated as a novelty by the press. In the Joni Mitchell-inspired Man From The Magazine, Danielle sings: “I drove too far for you to hand me that starter guitar/‘Hey girl, why don’t you play a few bars.’”
Este Haim (bass guitar and vocals), Danielle Haim (vocals and guitar) and Alana Haim (guitars, keyboards and vocals) are all proficient in several instruments, growing up in a musical family. And don’t let the sweet vocals fool you, there’s a steel sassiness here. The lyrics are honest: in Leaning On You they admit “it takes all that I’ve got not to fuck this up.”
In Women In Music Pt. III, they leave behind straightforward pop-rock and embrace other sounds. The opening and closing tracks (Los Angeles and Summer Girl) employ some sax. I Know Alone features glitchy electronic sounds, with a distorted voice chiming in and a breakdown into Berlin house beats. 3AM owes a lot to RnB production and the voices have a lovely textured feel while addressing disrespectful hook-ups the sisters encounter. Another Try has some light reggae inflection. All That Ever Mattered features cascading guitar and rock-like squawks in the background.
On first listen, the tunes felt slight, but on further listens the sound opens up and the excellent production and musicianship comes to the fore. The music is joyous, but the lyrics are vulnerable, addressing personal challenges the sisters have endured.
In Hallelujah, which sounds like a lost 1970s country-folk track, they pay tribute to the strength they find in each other: “You always remind me that memories will last” Alana sings when addressing the death of her best friend. This is where their lush harmonies shine; the sound of delayed summer.
Women in Music Pt. III is released on 26th June 2020. For further information or to order the album visit HAIM’s website here.
Watch the video for I Know Alone here: