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After COVID-related delays, HAIM have finally released their third album Women In Music Pt. III. You’ll notice almost immediately that it’s a bold departure from the crisp alt-pop sounds of their previous albums. They’re going deeper and darker on this album and it’s thrilling. We’ve pinpointed the moments on the album that get us the most excited from wonky voicemails to pounding drums.
When Danielle Decides New York Isn’t For Her On Los Angeles
HAIM are the quintessential Californian group so it’s no surprise that New York didn’t quite work out for Danielle. She sings about trying out NYC on the album opener but quickly decides that it’s not for her in one of the most entertaining lines of the record. “New York is cold. I tried the Winter there once...NOPE,” she sings as the brass quickly stabs at the song. It’s the first real burst of personality on the record and it hits hard.
The Instrumental Break In I Know Alone
HAIM are no strangers to a sneaky dance break but they’re usually a lot sunnier than the one on I Know Alone. One of the most desolate songs on the album is lifted in its final part by an unexpected instrumental break. It’s glitchy and experimental, owing more to the electronic world than their alt-pop pocket. It’s a great example of just how willing the sisters are to push the boundaries now.
The Vivid Beginning Of Up From A Dream
There are some moments on the album that the girls take very literally and they breathe life into the record. The most obvious one is the gasp that introduces us to Up From A Dream as Danielle literally wakes up. It introduces us to a song that’s full of texture from sampled voices to seagulls. This album strips HAIM of their crisp pop sound and instead dirties things up a bit. It turns out to be thrilling.
The Voicemail That Opens Up 3am
There’s no stranger song on the album than 3am. It’s a wonky, off-kilter pop song that purposely sounds like a muddled brain. It’s opened by a voicemail checking in on the sisters with a male voice saying, “Just calling to see if you're still up.” Once again, it’s an unexpected touch that borders on kitsch. There’s something so exciting about HAIM trying out these things. There’s nothing safe about this record at all.
The Slick Pop Hooks Of Don’t Wanna
There are going to be some people that miss the old HAIM. This album is a sharp detour from the crisp, clean productions of their previous albums. For those fans, they’ll find comfort in Don’t Wanna. It’s old school HAIM at its finest, housing a chorus that will swirl around your brain for days. It’s a short, sharp injection of early HAIM pop that reminds us where they’ve been.
The Harmonies On Another Try
What’s the point in a family act, if you can’t show off your god given harmonies? The harmonies are present across the album but it’s never more impressive than on the rewarm chorus of Another Try. The calypso vibes are joined by subtle, luscious harmonies add to the feeling of rebirth that this song holds. The beginning of the album finds Danielle in a low place but this is the point where you feel things could turn around.
The Simon & Garfunkel Folk Of Leaning On You
HAIM’s sound has always owed itself to folk in some way but they have never gone so explicitly into the genre as they do on Leaning On You. It’s the most intimate point of the album, giving early Simon & Garfunkel vibes as the sisters are joined very faintly by producer Rostam Batmanglij. It’s one of the sweetest, uncomplicated moments on the record.
Danielle Singing “I Ain’t Dead Yet” On I Been Down
Danielle has been vocal about her struggle with depression following the second record. The darkness is all over this album but there are moments when she feels like she can pull herself out of it. On I Been Down there’s a line where you start to believe her. “Taped up the windows at the house but I ain’t dead yet,” she sings with conviction. It’s a triumphant point of the record.
The Suckerpunch That Is Man From The Magazine
If you thought we were going to get through an entire album called Women In Music Pt. III without at least one stab at the sexist industry, you’re thankfully wrong. Man From The Magazine is the one that explicitly tackles the sexual harassment that the girls have faced pinpointing one situation. It’s about a journalist who asked, “Do you make the same faces in bed?" They respond on the song saying, “What do you really want me to say back?” It’s the shortest song on the album but it does exactly what it needs to do. Oh, and if you were wondering, HAIM do play their own instruments too. *eye roll*
The Thunderous Percussion Of All That Ever Mattered
As has been mentioned previously, there are plenty of downbeats moments on this album but as the sisters find strength again, the music gets heartier. All The Ever Mattered is the most in-your-face song on the album. It’s driven along by hard-hitting percussion that’s made even more powerful by the scream-sounds in the chorus. A gritty, headstrong song that grabs your attention immediately.