This past Thursday, everyone’s favorite three-sister indie rock band from the valley returned full-force. HAIM released a studio video for their song “Right Now,” preceding the highly-anticipated release of their sophomore album, Something to Tell You. This album comes nearly four years after their extremely successful debut in 2013 with Days Are Gone. After touring in support of that album, HAIM’s live show expertise has translated beautifully into new material, as evidenced in the video for “Right Now.”
“Right Now” opens with a gentle, computerized percussion beat, immediately drawing the committed fan’s attention to elements from Days Are Gone. Their first album boasts significant segments of heavy percussion, with Danielle, Este and Alana often meeting in a circle onstage to create impressive drumming moments. This teaser is satisfied at the end of the video with Alana and Este meeting to compliment Danielle’s final chorus.
Lyrically, HAIM follows a similar romantic theme as their first album. “Right Now” opens with Danielle’s haunting voice as she details a previous relationship. In their older single “The Wire,” the band focused on letting someone go. However, with this new release, the song focuses on the other side. Many of the lyrics seem to plead with a past lover, outlining a one-sided relationship with Danielle singing “I wasn’t even in the running, already had your mind made up.” This story continues throughout the song.
In the chorus, Danielle begins to play the piano melody and Este adds a powerful bassline. This song is mastery of layering, with Danielle’s voice and piano expertly complementing both the percussion and Este’s bass and background vocals. Although Alana’s guitar melody comes into the song near the beginning, it doesn’t stay long. The main emphasis is put onto the lyrics and the importance of Danielle’s feelings after the conclusion of the relationship.
The most amazing piece of this new release is Danielle’s impeccable and emotional vocals. She is able to subtly raise her intonation and range in order to emphasize specific lyrics. Her voice fits in perfectly with contrasting, gritty guitar lines and popping percussion.
After the bridge, there is a dramatic moment where the music cuts out, leaving a lone electric piano tone. In this moment the video moves to show Este and Alana walking towards their drums, cueing the viewer into the climactic final chorus. Layering comes back in at this time with Este and Alana expertly switching off on their drumming. This type of synchronicity is extremely powerful and is only fully noticed in a video format.
Finally, in HAIM fashion, the song ends with an emotional and gracefully erratic crash, leaving the listener focusing on Danielle’s final words. This song, although not as poppy as their earlier work, dominates in complexity and emotion. HAIM is able to walk the thin line between heavy and light, pairing drifting vocals with amazing percussive beats. If this song is any indication of what is to be expected from Something to Tell You, this is a sophomore album that will not disappoint.