Blue Mondays? PSHAW - there’s too much new and exciting music out there for that! Welcome to the first ever LiveMusicVideo REVIEW MONDAYS!! Here you’ll find my take on an album I’m currently playing on loop and an attempt to highlight some of the pop culturally relevant themes. It is my hope that this might encourage you to check out the featured music, which then might foster a discussion. This series is my effort to provide an access point to those less familiar with or otherwise unaware of a particular album. Let it be known that I am no music authority, there’s no REAL reason why you should take any of what you read here with more than a grain of salt. But I appreciate your eyes and will do my best to justify their kindly reading of this! HUZZAH!
REVIEW MONDAYS: HAIM - DAYS ARE GONE
Today we take a look at the recently released album Days Are Gone by the sisters Haim. Allow me to make a bold, early declaration: this album will sell close to the same amount of copies as Adele’s 21 and it will launch these ladies into sold-out arena-playing supergroup status. There are too many things right with this album and too many things that are right now with this album for any other outcome. 2013 will go down in pop culture history as the year that Haim was.
Let’s start with the band’s name, a subtle but brilliant coincidence that plucks at the nostalgia-obsessed heartstrings of we millennials. ‘Haim’ recalls the now classic surge of teen-years romantic dramedies brought to life by the Brat Pack (and the Corey’s, the blonder of whom’s namesake is the tie-in here) in that decade of shoulder-pads and New Wave.
My mother said something innocently profound to me once: pop culture, in her experience, revives the style of the decade 20 years prior. Think about it: hair metal can be traced back, at least aesthetically, to the festivals and freelove look of the 60s, bell-bottoms and florals were everywhere in the ’90s, LA ROUX and THE KILLERS dominated airwaves just a few years ago. WARNING: Unless you figured this out already, this revelation may cause you to go down a k-hole of nostalgia—you may start viewing the world through this lens. Side-effects include obsessive research of surface-level similarities across decades, questioning whether your style impulses are your own, and know-it-all syndrome during casual conversations at parties.
While we’re nearing the end of our love affair with the 80s, they’re not totally over!
The second ingenious happenstance is that by using their last name (which just so happens to start with an ‘H’) to title their band, which is comprised of three siblings playing their own instruments, they invoke…
Hanson couldn’t be a smarter reference to make these days. The long awaited (for me, I don’t know about y’all) Return of the ’90s is upon us. We’re getting hints of it in fashion, tv shows, video games, subculture and other music (from James Blake ft. RZA through Katy Perry’s latest album teaser “Walking on Air” sounding like a 90s club rager complete with a gospel chorus). I’m so curious what the rock scene will be like in a few years time - while whatever happens may not be as revolutionary as Grunge, something’s gotta be coming. Could the sisters Haim (i know I used this once already, maybe it’ll catch on, ok?) be a sign of what’s to come? I’m all in.
Throw in the fact that these references don’t just have to do with their image, that Days Are Gone is a veritable love letter to the sounds of these two, OUR decades and you’ve got a perfectly primed, prepped and coated 2013 Album of the Year contender. We’re in that vacuum, the expectant time, akin to when ‘Rolling in the Deep’ was on the radio before the album came out and the 19 fanboys were heralding something big this way comes. It’s only a matter of time, and despite my early reluctances to get hip with Haim, I’m quite excited.
Let’s get our hands dirty with some of the freshest cuts…
Aaaand right off the bat we’re treated to an adult Blossom episode, the one where they trick their parents into letting them go camping without supervision.
How delightful is this video? And full of non-compromise! They dance their sisterly choreography with abandon in the deep mystic woods of HIP like some flashdancey witches of Macbeth. My sister and I used to come up with choreography to ‘Spice Up Your Life’ and a Hungarian Smurfs version of ‘YMCA’ that we’d rehearse ad nauseum— I can only hope ours looked even a small bit like the moves exhibited here.
The song feels familiar (I get a Toto’s ‘Africa’ vibe) and the strong, MJ-referencing vocal stands defiant against the wind tunnel of auto-tune that is Top 40 radio today. The ferocity on display is well-warranted; calloused guitar-picking middle finger to the sky, in homage to Stevie Nicks.
This is a cute video for the lead single starring that creepy dude from GIRLS OR that funny dude from Lonely Island. They look great in this video and we get a glimpse at what a live show of theirs might look like… i want to go to there.
The song sounds like it would pair perfectly with a super-cut of dance sequences from the Brat Pack era movies I mentioned earlier. Hey… someone should cut that together…
HONEY & I
This is a sunny offering reminiscent of Paul Simon. It makes me wonder what their childhood days of summer were like. It motivated me to research on Wikipedia:
The three girls grew up in the San Fernando Valley, listening to the 1970s classic rock and Americana records of their music-loving parents. While they were still at school their parents formed a family band called Rockinhaim to play cover versions at local charity fairs, with Israeli-born father Mordechai (“Moti”) on drums and mother Donna on guitar.
This rings true.
ALSO: They’re signed to Roc-Nation.
Suddenly this world domination thing doesn’t seem so farfetched, eh?
MY SONG 5
The COOLEST sounding song on the album, and most mold-breaking. It sounds like an instant classic and it could almost be a record off of N*SYNC’s No Strings Attached… and I mean that as a GREAT thing.**
**I endorse the production on that CD highly.
This album rocks because of what it means for the pop music of tomorrow. We didn’t even talk about the badass album cover. They’re stylish, write all of their music, and have a voice that cuts through the vapid moment we’re experiencing on the charts (aside from Lorde, I couldn’t be happier about the Lorde moment on the charts). I’m excited for young girls to start aspiring to be like them.
I will leave you with a SMART and SEXYASS remix of ‘Falling’ I stumbled upon, which will serve as bridge from today into tomorrow’s theme on LiveMusicVideo. MYSTERY. INTRIGUE. You’ll just have to check back.
THANK YOU FOR READING!!!!