in Review

Haim – Days Are Gone

So this is what now passes for indie rock.  The genre that was always intended to be an edgy alternative to the soothing sounds of Top 40, and now practically sounds inseparable from the very kinds of music it was always railing against.  Haim seem to be just one of the latest examples of how futile it’s become in trying to label whatever it means to be “indie” nowadays.  Which is something I feel like I should be a little disheartened by… but nahhh.  Because honestly, Days Are Gone is about as stacked with well-crafted pop hooks as any album I’ve heard in a while, even if it is rife with a sugary sweetness that I still can’t help but feel a mild embarrassment for liking.

Haim are three sisters from L.A., which I suppose is something you could figure out just by looking at them, though their talent is probably deeper than you might think.  Take for instance the album’s clean-cut production.  I just figured that these girls came into the studio, laid down some very pleasant vocal tracks and left the rest of the instrumentation to some well-honed studio musicians.  But alas, after watching some live performances from these sisters, it’s become apparent that this album’s pop-infused precision is completely forged from Haim’s own dainty hands, plus some drummer dude backing them up.  But musicianship aside, what makes Days Are Gone an album that I’ve surprisingly come back to a lot, is Haim’s knack for punchy little ditties that are bound to get stuck in your head if you give them a chance.

Another thing that makes this feel like a pure pop album in the traditional sense, is that it’s pretty frontloaded with great material.  The first five tracks are some undeniably delicious pieces of earcandy, while the rest of the album is maybe not quite as memorable, though it certainly does nothing to diminish the feel-good vibes that this album gives off.  I’ll admit that if I wasn’t currently living in Haim’s backyard of Southern California, this might not seem like the best music for this time of year.  But fortunately, the incessant L.A. sunshine still appears to be seeping its way in to my music listening habits, and though it may not be summer anymore, Days Are Gone still feels just right.

Favorite Tracks: “Falling”, “The Wire”, “Honey & I”

  1. This album is really confounding. I just keep listening to it even though I’m not sure I like it. I guess it’s comforting to know you like it.

    Good to know that they actually play the instruments, maybe that’s part of the line between indie and pop.

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