HAIM broke out onto the music scene after their debut record, Days Are Gone, was released in 2013. Donning “818” in-ears (the area code for the infamous Los Angeles “valley”), Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim danced, drummed, and dominated the festival scene.
Strutting their way down Ventura Boulevard, HAIM returned with their long awaited sophomore album, Something to Tell You, on July 7th—ten years after they played their first show as a band. The sound is reminiscent of many iconic eras of music, but is very uniquely HAIM.
After the well deserved success following Days Are Gone, the band took their time to write, produce, and perfect their next release. Este, Danielle, and Alana worked alongside producer, Ariel Rechtshaid on both records. HAIM also worked with Rostam Batmanglij (formerly of Vampire Weekend), Twin Shadow, and BloodPop on Something to Tell You.
The album begins with the first single, “Want You Back,” an upbeat and percussion heavy track. Danielle takes on the lead vocal with Alana and Este echoing behind her. The song is very traditionally HAIM—catchy, lyrically strong, and multi-genre. It sets the stage for the ten remaining tracks, all diverse in sound.
HAIM has been touring a few songs off of Something to Tell You since 2016; “Nothing’s Wrong” and “Little of Your Love” are exquisite both live and in recording. The first of the two being one of the strongest tracks on the record. It perfectly captures the feeling of knowing something is off in a relationship but not wanting to ruin the established connection. This is a concept that many artists have attempted to tackle, and HAIM successfully did so.
“Little of Your Love” is a bit of a different feel for the trio. It still has the notable percussion and echoey vocals—but with a hint of country. The studio version revealed some of those elements that were not as present live, making for a pleasant surprise to fans who thought they knew the track already.
The sisters stay true to their iconic sound with this record. It has a familiar feel to it and flows seamlessly—nothing appears out of place.
The title track on Something to Tell You is a quick tempo-ed and robust song. Vibrant drums, quick harmonies, intricate chords—everything that makes HAIM so magical is present.
A unique sound for the band is found on the track, “Walking Away.” It has a more sensual, 90s R&B feel to it—a defiant power radiates, showcasing a newfound confidence for Danielle. She sounds in her element, belting the liberating lyrics in a raspy tone.
The final track on the album is a Joni Mitchell-esque ballad. “Night So Long” is hauntingly beautiful, and only made up of a chorus and an outro. It is simple, but serves as the perfect finale.
Many have compared Something to Tell You to Days Are Gone, but how can one put two albums created at two different times in an artist’s life in the same category? The brilliant part of a sophomore record is the ability to showcase growth, which HAIM did very well. They are truly refined musicians and that quality is very noticeable to listeners of the record.