A lot can happen in four years. In Los Angeles rock trio Haim’s case, it’s taken four years to sculpt its second LP, Something To Tell You, into a sophisticated work of experiences, grooves and reverence for retro rock.
“Some things are long forgotten / Some things were never said / We were on one endless road / But I had a wanderin’ heart,” is how leading lady Danielle Haim sets the scene for lover’s plea “Want You Back” and ultimately, the entire LP. She and sisters Este (bassist) and Alana (guitarist and keyboardist) spend 11 tracks detailing the rise and demise of a relationship, yet it’s a tasteful and jam-worthy journey you can listen to on a summer drive without feeling the full weight of a break-up. But that’s not to say it doesn’t move you.
“Little of Your Love” flirts with the establishment of a new relationship and simultaneously bridges the doo-wop of the ’50s with modern-day rock. The sister act here is in full swing as Este and Alana back Danielle with their harmonious chants to “Gimme just a little of your love.” In “Ready For You,” Haim experiments with a LinnDrum to achieve the effect of that ’80s percussion so popularly used by artists ranging from Prince to Tears for Fears. The trio wears its musical influences on its sleeve—you hear them when the bridge of “Ready For You” turns into a riff of George Michael’s “Faith,” and when “You Never Knew” becomes a blatant salute to the sound of Fleetwood Mac.
The LP’s title track stands out for Este’s funky bass work alone. The chorus, while foreshadowing a future breakup, exhibits a groovy synergy between the sisters and their instruments. The pop-rich vibes of Haim’s Days Are Gone debut linger, but just as quickly as “Something to Tell You” takes us back, “Kept Me Crying” breaks—or better yet, smashes—our reverie with raw drum beats and fuzzy guitar solos. It’s an old soul of a song that might be one of the best off the LP. Reverb-heavy hymn “Night So Long” closes the album out, with the sisters singing their tranquil goodbyes to love and to us as listeners. It’s a fitting conclusion to an LP polished to shine.
Want more of Haim? Catch them at Life is Beautiful on September 24.