Good morning and happy tuesday, hoddlers. It’s been too long since we’ve featured a Track of the Day, hasn’t it?
Today I would like to talk about one of my favourite bands right now: HAIM (Hi-uhm).
I heard of this band for years but, you know, I didn’t really give them a chance. I used to be so stuck in my classic-rock ways. Then, during her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame speech in 2019, Stevie Nicks name-dropped the group.
If they’re good enough for Stevie Nicks, they’re good enough for me, I thought at the time.
So one day I went on the YouTube and search for HAIM results. The Fleetwood Mac fan I am, I clicked on their cover of Oh Well at the 2014 Glastonbury Festival. I’m a FM purist, and I love Peter Green. And I don’t think I have ever seen a cover quite like this before (and I saw Fleetwood Mac perform this at MSG in 2019). I was mesmerized.
The band consists of three sisters: Danielle Haim, Alana Haim and Este Haim. Danielle plays drums, guitar and sings lead. Alana (who took lead in that cover) plays guitar. Este plays bass.
These sisters are so freaking cool.
You might have seen them in Licorice Pizza, which starred Alana Haim. And her family in that movie was played by her real-life family - including parents Mordechai and Donna. The sisters grew up in a family band, which was fronted by their parents.
Here’s a fun fact: The director of that film, Paul Thomas Anderson, has also directed 10 of HAIM’s music videos.
I still don’t understand how Licorice Pizza was shut out of the Oscars.
So I loved their cover of Oh Well, but I was scared to listen to more of them. I didn’t want to not like them, and I feared I would if I heard any of their original songs. So, for about a year, kept going back to their Glastonbury performance but stayed away from their studio work.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have streamed my favourite radio station in Los Angeles. Some time in March 2020 I heard a song that stopped me in my tacks.
It began with four snaps on the snare drum: BAP BAP BAP BAP! Then flows into a poppy-rhythmic groove on the kick drum and snare: boom dap ba-doom bap, boom dap ba-doom bap.
Then, and this is what sealed it for me, the most Los Angelean guitar riff invented post-1977. I grew up in Orange County, some 30 minutes south of Los Angeles, and always have been drawn to that sound. That easy-going, lovely pop sound. The song didn’t even need to get to the hook to hook me.
I’m in the middle of my shift at work, and for a second I stop what I’m doing. I go to my radio station. I needed to know who played this song.
It was HAIM.
And it was from that moment that they became my favourite modern-day group. And I think they’re one of the most exciting groups around right now.
HAIM are commanders of luscious pop-rock grooves. I don’t quite understand the comparisons between them and Fleetwood Mac, because Fleetwood Mac didn’t make this kind of music - especially if you listen to Women in Music Pt III. I would think Prince is a closer comparison.
I waited two years for HAIM to re-release that album. I’m so glad they did.
Fitzie’s track of the day: The Steps, by HAIM
And now for your links:
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Alasdair Gold & Rob Guest: Hugo Lloris on how Antonio Conte has changed Spurs
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Huddersfield climb to third in EFL Championship after 2-0 victory over Luton Town