By Michael Themistocleous
After releasing EPs and singles, touring constantly, and making a name for themselves since 2006, indie-pop band Haim has recorded their first-full length album “Days are Gone.” The album was released on Sept. 30 through Polydor Records. Four positively received singles were released before the album, building up anticipation. Haim did not disappoint. “Days are Gone” is easily one of the best indie-pop albums of 2013.
Sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim, with Dash Hutton, formed the band in 2006. Since then, they have honed their craft, mixing the sounds of Fleetwood Mac with artists and bands like Destiny’s Child, Madonna, and Pat Benatar. It is an eclectic mix, and forms the basis of who Haim is: a fun-sounding and enjoyable band.
Vocally, the Haim sisters and Hutton really complement each other. The vocals are not drowned in reverb like plenty of indie-pop bands, and it is quite refreshing. A great mix of lead and backing vocals is quite apparent on the single, “The Wire.” The vocals work into the music very well.
The music doesn’t sound over-done or ruined by the arrogance of one member. As stated previously for vocals, each member and their instrumentation work well together in a unified way. What really ties all of the wonderful qualities together is the production, done primarily by the three sisters and James Ford. Ford is a brilliant producer, working for the likes of Simian (his own band), Arctic Monkeys, The Last Shadow Puppets, and Klaxons. His production is definitely not cheap and it’s fresh to hear his production quality over others such as Rick Rubin or Jay-Z (whose label signed Haim).
Ford’s work in Simian and Simian Mobile Disco really helped the quality sound of the indie-pop Haim has created. Ford found critical acclaim in his work with the bands, and I hope that his work with Haim continues. Haim, while proving themselves as good producers, could always use the back-up, and Ford is the man to find the help in.
As for the album as a whole, it is one of the catchiest released recently. “Days are Gone” is an album that can be played again and again without getting old. Haim has really created a masterpiece, reminiscent of the breakout releases such as “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” by Arctic Monkeys, as well as “Is This It” by The Strokes. If their debut is any indicator, Haim have a very bright future ahead of them.
I recommend this for indie fans, fans of female vocalists, someone looking for a good new pop album, and fans of talented musicians and lyricists.
Key Tracks: “The Wire,” “Don’t Save Me,” “My Song Five,” and “Running If You Call My Name”