October 2, 2013
Haim Shows How to Make the Grown-Up, Totally Fun Breakup Album

Jay Z’s Made in America festival in Philadelphia last month brought out a mass of MDMA-and-Budweiser-affected kids unified by a love of Beyoncé, Nine Inch Nails, and/or American-flag tank tops. But the people I saw having the most fun, by far, were the three sisters who front the band Haim—striking guitar-hero poses, waggling tongues at the crowd, and happily returning a pair of tennis shoes chucked by a wasted bro-fan.
You hear that same sense of fun and the same callbacks to classic rock tropes on the four-piece’s fantastic debut, Days Are Gone, out now. It’s a clattering, busy album crammed with joyful “hey!”s and “chicka-uh!”s, disco violins, and guitar solos. The hooks are the kind that listeners internalize so quickly it’s hard to believe they haven’t been in the canon always.
But after the rush of early listens, Days Are Gone starts seeming a smidge less fun. You begin to notice the slack-tempo, melancholic verses that surround some of those sunny choruses. This underlying, gradually revealed sadness ends up being a good thing. What at first seems like a straightforwardly great album for, say, hitting the gym or driving fast is actually something even more useful: a grown-up, conflicted breakup album. 
Read more. [Image: AP Images]

Haim Shows How to Make the Grown-Up, Totally Fun Breakup Album

Jay Z’s Made in America festival in Philadelphia last month brought out a mass of MDMA-and-Budweiser-affected kids unified by a love of Beyoncé, Nine Inch Nails, and/or American-flag tank tops. But the people I saw having the most fun, by far, were the three sisters who front the band Haim—striking guitar-hero poses, waggling tongues at the crowd, and happily returning a pair of tennis shoes chucked by a wasted bro-fan.

You hear that same sense of fun and the same callbacks to classic rock tropes on the four-piece’s fantastic debutDays Are Gone, out now. It’s a clattering, busy album crammed with joyful “hey!”s and “chicka-uh!”s, disco violins, and guitar solos. The hooks are the kind that listeners internalize so quickly it’s hard to believe they haven’t been in the canon always.

But after the rush of early listens, Days Are Gone starts seeming a smidge less fun. You begin to notice the slack-tempo, melancholic verses that surround some of those sunny choruses. This underlying, gradually revealed sadness ends up being a good thing. What at first seems like a straightforwardly great album for, say, hitting the gym or driving fast is actually something even more useful: a grown-up, conflicted breakup album.

Read more. [Image: AP Images]

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    One of my favorite albums of the year so far!
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    CAN’T. STOP. LISTENING.
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    My ride to the bar on Monday was playing this and I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. One of the dudes from...
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