If there’s one thing Haim have revealed about their upcoming third album, ‘Women in Music Pt. III’, it’s that it’s going to unexpected. Each cut that the south Californian sisters have released from the upcoming record has been something entirely different.
Sliding away from the kooky, polished pop-rock that they perfected over their first two records, they’ve embraced Lou Reed referencing funk-pop (‘Summer Girl’), scintillating electronics (‘Now I’m it It’) and rootin’-tootin country (‘The Steps’). Each time the band’s trademark tight vocals, strutting basslines and buoyant melodies have remained present and correct, just meshed with a bold new influence.
In the case of their latest single, ‘I Know Alone’, that’s bristling dance music. With its shuffling 808 beats, ethereal layered vocals and glitching production, Haim’s signature sound has been imbued with something that sounds suspiciously close to UK garage. It’s a brilliantly bizarre combination, but a fusion that sees them continue to grow.
Despite the unusual new sounds, though, there’s no doubt – thanks to the soaring melodies and sincere lyrics – that this is a Haim song. “Been a couple of days since I’ve been out,” Danielle sings in the opening lines, “calling all my friends but they won’t pick up”. Originally inspired by the band’s feeling of loneliness after returning from tour, the lyrics take on a life of their own amid the current pandemic.
With this song’s sparse instrumentals and icy electronics, Haim have mirrored the stark feeling of isolation that they dissect in the lyrics. “I don’t want to give, I don’t want to give too much / I don’t want to feel, I don’t want to feel at all” Danielle sings candidly. Yet for all the bleakness of the words (“Some things never change / They never fade / It’s never over”), the hook offers some sort of hope, the soaring melodies act as a comfort blanket.
As they’ve done with those other bangers from the much-anticipated ‘Women in Music Pt. III’, on ‘I Know Alone’ Haim have dared to experiment – and once again they’re all the stronger for it.