Haim’s third album ‘Women In Music Pt. III’ saw them at their very best. A record that’s equal parts poignant and personal, and explosive and experimental, it was a welcome accompaniment to our socially distanced summers when it first dropped last June. Bringing a dose of California sunshine across the Atlantic, it was an apt soundtrack for lazy days sat in parks, cracking open a tinny in your bubble of six.
The band of sisters have now released an expanded version of their Grammy-nominated record. This extended edition features two brand new reworkings of album tracks, with guest appearances from some big-name musical pals.
Haim’s long-time mate and touring partner Taylor Swift hops on the sultry ‘Gasoline’, a slow-rock growler that scores the highs and lows of a messy relationship, while Thundercat appears on the bouncing ‘3AM’, a tongue-in-cheek celebration of drunken “u up?” texts.
While neither of the songs have been changed immeasurably with the addition of new collaborators, it does add a lick of fresh paint to the sonic world Haim’s ‘Women in Music Pt. III’.
Taylor Swift’s distinguishing vocals, with her natural gift for inflection that can convey the highs and lows of a Shakespearean romance in a single verse, elevate ‘Gasoline’. Opening the second verse with the powerful, belted line “I get sad,” which is quickly juxtaposed with a softer, “you know I get sad”, Swift expertly expresses the messy mixed emotions chaotic relationships can cause. Backing vocals are built up too, adding some drama to the bridge with murmured whispers of “strike a match / Strike a match / Watch it burn” – a typically Swiftian melody.
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Meanwhile, Thundercat hops on ‘3AM’, adding his silky vocals to the ‘90s-R&B-laced belter. Taking on the first verse, the jazz-fusion virtuoso’s mystical falsetto is a perfect accompaniment to the squelchy synths and funky instrumentals. Once again, the production is built up, with dizzy backing vocals and woozy riffs layered on top of the song’s original framework, adding a new intricacy to the track.
Both are joy-filled reworkings that see the band celebrate the songs of ‘Women in Music Pt. III’ alongside their musical pals, as well as tiding fans eager for new material over. Released with spring on the horizon, they’re a welcome companion to the returning blue skies and sunshine, setting Haim up to be, once again, the ultimate sound of the summer.