Los Angeles based sisters act HAIM has always tread lightly on a bedrock that falls between pop and pop rock. It’s a formula that’s garnered them plenty of attention and praise. However with their newly released album Women In Music Pt. III they cash in and go for a more pure pop sound. As risky as it could be for some artists, the trio proves real fast that they’re ready to be known as a pop powerhouse.
The opening trac “Los Angeles” opens with jazzy horns before a hip hop drum kit and a funky guitar come in to meet the vocals. It’s a bop banger littered with hooks from the jump, while the R&B touches offer plenty to keep your ears. The same could be said on “The Steps,” as the group utilizes a mix of hip hop and twangy guitars to go full throttle at a more pop sound. While tracks like “I Know Alone” and “Gasoline” offer up different takes of this methodology, it’s all pop and it’s all glorious.
But within the well crafted songwriting and catchy arrangements lies the group’s strong point, the vocals. Whether it be with a lead like on “Don’t Wanna” or those group voices on “Leaning On You,” their vocals are still what sets them apart from any other pop act. There’s just something about vocal harmonies that don’t sound like they have treatment to make them work together that still works best.Our favorite track comes on “All That Ever Mattered.” Taking a mix of R&B synth pop and new wave graced tones, the trio offers a sound that’s typically reserved for pop princesses. However their take on that vibe works best with three vocals in the mix.
Women In Music Pt. III is ready to purchase in various bundles and formats from Columbia Records. It can also be purchased digitally or streamed on all platforms. HAIM is performing via live-stream as well as a Q&A featuring Ariel Rechtschaid and Rostam Batmaglij on July 07. Tickets are available here.
Image Credits: Photo by Drew Escriva.