By the time Haim (it’s pronounced like “rhyme, in case you’re still wondering) performed it live out in Guthrie a few weekends back I’d listened to “The Wire” enough to crudely approximate its squeaky guitar curls and bubbly basslines without the aid of the actual song, and even mime how I imagined them playing their instruments like Jack Black does to Led Zeppelin in “School of Rock”. That is the level of enthusiasm this band inspires.
And what most impressed about that festival show —it was the first time anybody around here could’ve easily seen them play outside of a music video or grainy YouTube concert footage— was that the foot stomps, gnarled bass faces and giddy emotions were all there, for real, on stage. The three sisters played like pop stars even though they hadn’t put out an album yet.
That album, “Days Are Gone” is finally here and it’ll likely be one of the year’s best in fun and accessible and also broadly liked records. It sounds pristine in your headphones, thrilling in the car, and —unlike Justin Timberlake’s “20/20 Experience” albums— its lyrics curry drama and intrigue. “Gone”’s closest kissing cousin is in Vampire Weekend’s “Modern Vampires of the City”, with which it shares a producer (Ariel Rechtshaid) and an omnivorous, indiscriminate appetite for sounds — most often ‘70s rock radio gold filtered through Destiny’s Child-era R&B — that most would consider incompatible.
It’s also genuinely and endearingly weird, especially in its yelpy, Dirty Projectors treatment of melody (all which the boss man George Lang pointed out in his review, which which you'll find here) and how indiscriminately it turns on the glitter with a Chrissie Hynde guitar lick or shiny new wave synthesizer splash, whether in the middle of a nod to Van Morrison (as on “Honey & I”) or Amy Grant (“Days Are Gone”).
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