HAIM – Don’t Save Me / Send Me Down (single) (Columbia / SONY)
The three sisters that make up pop act HAIM have had quite the year. Though the band formed several years ago, it was only during the start of 2012 that the Los Angeles act released their debut three-song EP entitled ‘Forever’ as a free via their website during February 2012.
Combined with shows alongside Julian Casablancas, Ke$ha, Mumford & Sons, and a tour with Florence and The Machine throughout the UK and Ireland in December, word spread quickly amongst bloggers and audiences alike.
You may have noticed there’s somewhat of an 80’s revival going on at the moment, none better than Twin Shadow and his brilliant ‘Confess’ albumreleased earlier this year (read our review). Where other recent 80’s revivalists such as The Galvatrons perfectly recaptured the sound of era with much satire, though still fun, HAIM are less about the humour and more about the songcraft. Similarly, though still very much an 80’s influenced pop record, Twin Shadow’s ‘Confess’ hinted at some of the exploration and experimentation that characterized the era, whereas “Don’t Save Me” is an out and out pop song.
“Don’t Save Me” follows the triumphant success that was “Forever” but is even catchier. Its main influence and comparison is undoubtedly 80’s era Fleetwood Mac. An expertly crafted pop song, the hooks and songwriting in general are top notch and you get the feeling that HAIM are well on track to create their own“Cruel Summer” or “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” very, very soon.
B-side “Send Me Down” is much darker with a Florence and The Machine meets Bat For Lashes vibe. Not unlike Florence and The Machine (think “No Light, No Light”) with its heavy use percussion, handclaps, thuds, and pounds, likewise the imposing horn-like sounds and vocal harmonies give the song an atmospheric Flo-like feel.
HAIM are certainly one of the most hyped acts of the moments with some people going so far as calling them “the saviours of guitar music”. Let’s get too excited just yet; “Don’t Save Me” is a great pop song, nothing more and certainly nothing less.
‘Don’t Save Me / Send Me Down’ was released 13 November and is available now.
Watch the video for “Don’t Save Me” below:
Listen to the b-side “Send Me Down” below: