The first time I listened to HAIM, in 2013, I was almost embarrassed by how immediately the band’s nostalgic sound won me over. HAIM’s three sisters—Danielle, Este, and Alana Haim—channel the music of eighties sirens such as Pat Benatar, Madonna, and Stevie Nicks so wholeheartedly that a casual listener would be forgiven for thinking they were a cover band. The sisters were raised in the San Fernando Valley, under the guidance of musician parents, and, as teens, played at weddings and Jewish delicatessens. They appear to have emerged from a world in which ridicule under cover of praise or compliment.' class='tooltip'>irony has no currency. Like Taylor Swift, whose most recent tour they opened, they write love songs. But, unlike Swift, HAIM is loud and erotic. The band’s credo is maximalism; beneath the melancholy vocals, you can hear fits of folk spirit, erogenous R. & B., and, most delightfully, electronic dance.
In September, 2013, HAIM released its first album, “Days Are Gone,” to acclaim from pop lovers and jaded rockers alike. “Want You Back,” the second single from the band’s sophomore album, “Something to Tell You,” coming in July, brings to mind the soft California sunlight on the new album’s cover. The song is produced by Ariel Rechtshaid, who worked with Adele on “When We Were Young.” Like that song, “Want You Back” begins wistfully. “I said we were opposite lovers,” Danielle sings sadly, taking responsibility for a failed relationship. Guitar, piano, and Este and Alana (“Said it from the beginning,” they sing) provide gentle support. The beat is carried along by soft handclaps. When the chorus arrives, though, the track quickly shifts, the women’s voices suddenly crowded with high-pitched distortions and croaking stops. The result is a summer-ready dance track.
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