Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The Problem With... HAIM

Now this column's taken a bit of a break, but let's be honest. so has the site. We've had a bit of a reshuffle in terms of editorial and we're optimistic about how this is going to affect the site and the quality of content you'll be receiving from us.
Anyway, you won't have failed to notice the rise of HAIM recently; so Braden questioned the problem with them.

Regardless of whether you consider a band to be the real deal, a genuine article or a label constructed act; HAIM are the new family band on the block. The Fleetwood Mac comparisons are too simple whereas the Osmond’s created music just a bit too on the cheesy side to be these three sisters.
In the same month as CHVRCHES, the 1975 and London Grammar released their debut records, HAIM follow on the wave of new acts releasing their ‘hyped first’ and proved to be one of the only acts capable of maintaining the wave of adoration though its release. The1975 were accused of being too shiny, London Grammar featured just a bit too much fat surrounding the meaty singles on the record and CHVRCHES’ corner of niche proved to be a Marmite of a record which mostly hung on whether you found tracks that didn’t have Lauren singing on them to be as entertaining as the likes of the insanely catchy Gun and The Mother We Share.

Haim though, they stuck to the formula; perhaps too tightly. Putting 2/3 of the tracks from their debut EP felt a lot on the lazy side whilst the little leaks of music in between in the form of singles Falling, Don’t Save Me and The Wire and in the form of Spotify/iTunes sessions etc  Honey & I and even Let Me Go feel somewhat familiar. That left almost none of the remaining tracks to be a surprise. Days Are Gone was always going to be a #1 album because we, the audience already knew what it sounded like. It doesn’t diminish the quality of the record, but it sure as heck takes away the entertainment of putting on an album and hearing a host of tracks for the first time. In fact, just four of the eleven were new to many upon first play and whilst I may be an old romantic fart on the topic; that took away some of the romance. That said, the remaining four tracks were co-written by Simian’s James Ford, Jessie Ware and Ariel Rechtshaid of Usher, Vampire Weekend and Major Lazer production fame so the only surprise really is that these are possibly the worst tracks on the record.

Days Are Gone then is an Up To Now. A collection of tracks that Haim knew would be successful based on their history as an act. I mean, they had relative success as Valli Girls and the Forever EP was insanely popular. The family band have the formula for success, and whilst album two must seem like quite a while away considering how much they’ll tour Days Are Gone, at least they didn’t have to do much writing to complete this record.

Braden Fletcher

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