After releasing a bunch of songs last year and teasing fans on social media by rebranding as a trio of charred sausages, Haim announced the release date for their third album Women In Music Pt. III out on April 24th. Consisting of 16 tracks, the album was produced by Rostam Batmanglij (Vampire Weekend), Ariel Rechtshaid and Danielle Haim (niiiiiice). What is it like to be a woman in music? The Haim sisters can tell you. But they’re exhausted from answering the question. Does anybody ever ask a male what it’s like to be a man in music? Despite being one of the most quintessential LA bands of their generation, they’ve constantly been second guessed due to their lack of male band members and comedic nature. In true Haim fashion ahead of dropping their third album, they’ve shaken it off with their quick wit, take no sh*t attitude and solidarity in sisterhood.
The band’s care-free approach of releasing music this time around has seen a sonic shift to their sound in what can only be described by Danielle as, “some of the best songs we’ve ever done.” Frequent collaborator and long time friend Paul Thomas Anderson has directed all four WIMPIII music videos so far. Check them out below and expect more to drop in the lead up to Women In Music Pt. III.
‘Summer Girl’ released back in July of 2019 was the first taste of new music since 2017’s Something To Tell You. The Lou Reed inspired track saw a departure from their signature guitar-lead sound by introducing a jazzier palette and playful direction. The wonky bassline and gritty sax saw a sonic shift from their usual pop precision, and it totally works.
The song was written by Danielle during a time when her boyfriend and the band’s producer Ariel’s diagnosis with testicular cancer was still uncertain (he’s now in remission). On Instagram she wrote that it was about being his “light, when he was feeling dark, his hope when he felt hopeless.” With lyrics, “walk beside me, not behind me / feel my unconditional love,” it’s purpose was to reassure him that there is always a beacon of hope in every dire situation. The tradition of them strutting in a line in their music videos also lives on here, and we love them for it.
Now I’m In It
Described by the band as “the most haim haimy haim song ever written,” ‘Now I’m In It’ is about accepting the fact that you are in a dark place and that it’s time to get your sh*t together. Disguised in blissful pulsating synths, it’s only on a deeper inspection of the lyrics when you realise the message of the song. Danielle further explained the meaning behind it in a lengthy post, sharing that, “the track is chaotic- like my mind when i’m spiraling. fast-talking to myself- words jumbled up. heartbeat racing… after being constantly on the go the past couple years, i didn’t wanna stop and deal with some shit… but every time I’ve been depressed- it takes me accepting that I need help, to start to get out of it… take care of yourself. be nice to yourself. and thank the ones around you that help u everyday. hope this helps anyone who is in it right now ❤️.”
now i’m in it is about going through it.
a depression. not leaving the house type of shit. for my sisters and i, there have been times in our lives where we have felt like we are stuck in a dark hole. pic.twitter.com/8oaJfYPYsC
— HAIM (@HAIMtheband) October 28, 2019
The heartfelt ‘Hallelujah’ is a massive thank you from each sister to one another, and to the people that love and support you everyday. It’s the first song that Haim has ever written about each other, and they all wrote a verse about a specific moment in their life that they wouldn’t have got through without each other’s support. Danielle’s verse is about sibling telepathy and how you can predict what they’re going to do or say before it even happens. This inspired the concept for the music video. Este details the struggles of chronic illness and her type 1 diabetes, and Alana addresses the fatal death of her best friend Sammi Kane Kraft who’s life was taken at the age of 21 by a drunk driver. Along with the “SKK” etched onto all of her guitars, she’s now able to carry another piece of her on tour with her, in the form of a song.
The music video for Haim’s latest release ‘The Steps’ depicts an unconventional take on the mundane morning routine. The smeared lipstick, toothpaste dribble and forward-roll into the pool (executed perfectly by Este) mimic the lovable scruffy 60’s acoustics and squeal of the electric guitar. Themes of female empowerment shine with lyrics; “every day I wake up and make money for myself / and though we share a bed you know that I don’t need your help,” and Danielle even co-directed the video alongside Paul Thomas Anderson. Yelling the line in the chorus “you don’t understand me” has a therapeutic tendency which will no doubt go down a treat in a live setting.
Behind the scenes, Haim’s battle with depression, diabetes, and grief over the last few years has been the most difficult time in their lives. But coming out the other side of it is a newfound appreciation for getting to do what they love, and new music that sounds unlike anything they’ve ever made before. Nobody can blend rhythmic rock with pop sensibilities quite like they can and these new songs are a glorious taster of what’s to come. If Haim has taught you anything, it’s hold your lifelong support crew close, never second guess yourself and listen to what all women in music (Pt III) have to say.