If you want a raw reflection of sisterhood, look no further than here. Haim is composed of American sisters, Danielle, Este and Alana Haim and, following a COVID-induced delay, the trio is back in full swing with their third album Women In Music Pt III.
The new album is the epitome of fusion and contrast, mixing humour with vulnerability. The record title symbolises a playful middle finger to misogyny in the music industry, where people are treating women in music like exotic beings few and far between, especially in the rock genre.
HAIM lay all their cards on the table through both the light-hearted and the emotional. Of the humorous tracks, ‘3 AM’ is certainly a highlight. This track sees Haim play with a laid back R&B sound to pay tribute to those drunken, middle-of-the-night phone calls. The track opens with fictional voicemail messages from perpetrators of these calls, adding to the song’s playfulness.
The album’s opening song, ‘Los Angeles’ is a lyrically wry but sonically colourful bop, with Danielle expressing a sudden desire to permanently leave her hometown. With a memorable saxophone opening and solo, the track is a smooth and fitting opener.
Amongst the more poignant tracks, the band carefully and candidly explore their personal battles. ‘I Know Alone’ speaks to the lonely and isolated. Ironically, the lyrics aren’t out of place alongside the global coronavirus crises and lockdown:
‘Been a couple days since I’ve been out / Calling all my friends but they won’t pick up’.
Musically, the track pushes Haim’s conventional sound palette; sombre electronics and synths overpower the song and complement Dani’s airy vocals.
A driving jittered bassline drives ‘Now I’m In It’, which toys with feeling down and being unable to get out of a rut. On a similar note, ‘I’ve Been Down’ is a chilled, brutally honest exploration of depression, something which the sisters have struggled with, which makes the best of a bad situation:
‘I think that we need to come together (you know I’m down)’.
The record’s more stripped-back songs also explore emotional experiences. The fragile ballad ‘Hallelujah’ is a true tearjerker and an ode to the support that the sisters offer each other; through Alana’s grief for her friend and Este coming to terms with a diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes, the girls were each other’s rocks. Likewise, ‘Summer Girl’ is the product of Danielle coping with her partner’s cancer, through which she becomes his beacon of light. A popular single from the album, the track is sax-driven and plays like a song you would blast on a summer evening’s drive.
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HOLY SHIT just found out we got the #1 album in the U.K.!!! we have been so overwhelmed all week seeing how many of you around the world have been listening to the album and wanted to thank u all from the bottom of our hearts for supporting us and wimpiii. the SECOND that it’s safe, we’re gonna be out playing it for you guys and we can all scream these songs together. sending so much love from Los Angeles
What made this album so magical is the diverse range of sounds. Haim returns to the R&B sound in ‘Another Try’, using a syncopated backbeat across the song, creating a laid back atmosphere as the lyrics play with trying to win back an ex-partner. ‘All That Ever Mattered’ dabbles with the electronic world once again, utilising various sound effects, synths and haunting reverberation before merging into classic rock guitar as it draws to a close.
Classic Haim tracks are not lacking, though. ‘The Steps’, ‘Gasoline’ and ‘Don’t Wanna’ are songs that represent Haim’s established foundations, echoing indie styles heard on their previous albums (Days Are Gone and Something To Tell You). The tracks each candidly explore the disastrous facets of love and relationships, surely destined to be a massive hit among listeners.
Women In Music pt III displays Haim at the top of their game both sonically and lyrically. It is their most raw album to date, yet creates the perfect blend between newfound tenderness and Haim’s trademark sass-fuelled attitude.
We look forward to seeing Haim continuously grow in the near future because as they have shown, you can never have too many women in music.