HAIM – The Wire


There’s so much good summer music flying around right now that it can be hard to keep up, but I’ll always make time to check out a new track from HAIM. I’ve been a fan of the LA sister trio since catching them at POPSHOP018 last year in NYC. I’d never heard of them, but the crowd was buzzing with anticipation, and by the middle of the first song, the anticipation had turned fully to joy, and I was swept up. Individually, they’ve each got charisma and energy to spare, and collectively, I saw a confidence and a unity among the three of them that quickly drew me in. (I guess growing up together will give you that. It can be easy to forget that a lot of bands don’t really know each other, despite the hours and hours they spend together.) But I became a true convert somewhere around the time Danielle ripped into the dirty, bluesy guitar solo halfway through “Let Me Go.

A childhood spent listening to their parents’ collection of 70s LPs in the San Fernando Valley gave HAIM a Fleetwood Mac-jams-with-Led Zeppelin-at-a-SoCal-beach-bonfire vibe. There’s something old-fashioned about their music, but not in a retro or nostalgic way; maybe “timeless” is a better word for it. A lot of the elements they incorporate into their songs – strong harmonies, great guitar parts, simple verse/chorus song structures, tried-and-true chord changes, handclaps (can never have too many handclaps), lyrics about love and heartbreak – have been around forever because they never get old. The three sisters’ affection for the music of the past doesn’t cloud their youthful energy; I think it enhances it, makes it more nuanced. To me, HAIM is the perfect musical embodiment of the young person/old soul archetype.

So, the song: it’s called “The Wire,” it’s been kicking around as a demo and in HAIM’s live sets for a while, and it’s great. Bouncy, upbeat, propelled by a smooth bassline, anchored by a simple, driving kick/snare rhythm, and wrapped around a catchy little repeating phrase: “I know, I know, I know, I know/that you’re gonna be OK anyway.” The lyrics describe a relationship gone sour, but the music suggests that the protagonist is moving on, rather than wallowing in self-pity or moping around. It swings breezily through its verses and soars up into prime sing-along territory in the choruses – a perfect summer song. HAIM finally announced that their debut LP will be out on September 23, and I can’t wait.

HAIM – The Wire

Music Remixes

Jeremiah – 773 Love (Cashmere Cat Edit)

There is refined taste and then there is universal taste when it comes to music in my book. I like to think that mine is a combination of the two, and that most of the people who surround me on a day to day basis are the same way. It’s really exciting to encounter someone who has a fundamental similarity with you in that their taste of music aligns with your own. It’s easy to forget who is similar to you, and who isn’t. There are people in life that are reasons for your love of a certain genre — for me, my father is the reason for my fundamental love of rock n’ roll, and he will always be. Which means that it should be easy for me to always remember that my father and I will always be connected in that musical sense. Of course, as humans, we tend to forget. And it’s always a really cute reminder to catch another person, whether it’s a parent, loved one, or best friend, in a moment of surprise for both you and them. This was the case today when I was in the car with a dear friend. I decided to show off some of the new music I was listening to as of late.

This was one of the songs that came on, and while we were talking about things non-music related, I saw something in his eyes that I know happens to me, too, when I hear a song that I immediately enjoy. It’s the same way you look at someone you care about when they’re talking to you and you’re being silent, with a smile in your eye but not necessarily on your mouth. “I like this,” was all he said. And never mind the fact that we had both grown up together with a mutual love for such different music, like Queen, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, & Yes. The formula, beginning with those undoubtable classics, meant that we’d be connected forever no matter how different our music tastes became.

I was really happy in this moment because not only did I have the same reaction to this song as my friend when I first encountered it, but I was proud of how modern his taste had become. We’re always going to be rooted in our classics, no doubt, but to be open to sounds that make us feel good, is the true musicianship of a quality listener.

The ride continued on to unearth the sounds of Busta Rhymes, How To Dress Well, Outkast, & Nicolas Jaar, which both of us enjoyed happily.

Pre-Thanksgiving jams are the best, with anticipation of food and love on the horizon, allow the time that you set aside to listen to this song to be a shared moment with someone you care about. You’ll thank me later.

Jermiah – 773 Love (Cashmere Cat Edit)