HAIM have dropped ‘Want You Back,’ the first single from their sophomore album, Something To Tell You (due 7 July). Perfect summer radio fodder, ‘Want You Back’ is a well-produced mashup of handclaps, shimmering synths, and funky rhythm guitar, but the track sadly lacks substance and, more importantly, a real chorus.
Produced by Danielle Haim, the track continues the sound established on the band’s excellent debut, Days Are Gone. However, ‘Want You Back’ presents a wider, more expansive canvas on which the sisters paint brilliantly warm colors that evoke memories of a romantic summer’s afternoon.
At the forefront of their newly expanded soundscape, lush vocal harmonies deliver punchy, staccato lyrical hooks, a now trademark HAIM sound. While continuing to evoke a classic seventies California pop-rock sonic identity, the band embrace elements of electronica to create a unique and instantly recognisable sound.
While ‘Want You Back’ leans toward appeasing radio, albeit with integrity, it is their recent live performance of ‘Right Now’ that demonstrates the raw artistic talent these three sisters possess. An incredible session artistically shot by acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson, and expertly recorded by album producer Ariel Rechtshaid, the performance draws an emotional intensity out of a song that could be an entirely different track in its album form.
New music from HAIM was long overdue. It has been four years since Days Are Gone arrived like a breath of fresh air in a world saturated with tired EDM beats. Despite a brief foray into that world, as a featured artist on Calvin Harris’ admittedly strong single, ‘Pray To God,’ the band have held on tight to their roots. They are talented multi-instrumentalists, and it’s great to see that they will continue to demonstrate their talents on this new record, as opposed to chasing hits and mass appeal.
It’s unlikely ‘Want You Back’ will bring new fans in droves, but HAIM have support from tastemakers and indie press, so Something To Tell You will likely be a roaring success. They’re an incredibly likeable trio, as their recent interview with the insufferable Zane Lowe of Beats 1 demonstrated, and an incredible live act, be sure to catch them this time out. It may well be another long four years until we hear new music from HAIM.
Want You Back is available to download and stream now from Spotify, iTunes and Apple Music.