By Hayden Wright
The Haim sisters—Este, Danielle and Alana—made waves with their 2013 release, Days Are Gone, which announced them as Wilson Phillips for the age of Twitter. Since then, Haim has lent vocals to Calvin Harris’ “Pray to God” and hobnobbed with insiders like Taylor Swift. Their second studio album Something to Tell You is out today and it clears one of music’s biggest hurdles: the sophomore record.
On Something to Tell You, Haim drive their signature formula (earthy, organic arrangements with sly synth elements) to the next level. On “Right Now,” the jam-session aesthetic sounds rawer than ever, and “You Never Knew” contains surprising electronic elements. Something to Tell You doesn’t signal a new direction for Haim, but it deepens and complicates the sounds and ideas they’ve aced all along.
Lyrically, the sisters sort through the pitfalls of lost love, yet there are moments of joy and ecstasy in the self-knowledge they discover. These are five of our favorites from Haim’s Something to Tell You:
The album’s second track sounds straight out of Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks’ publishing catalog. It’s sunny, Southern California vibe masks darker lyrics about facing the truth about a failing relationship. Danielle Haim calls the song a “sad one” about the death of a romance on the road.
“Want You Back”
The album’s lead single is one of its finest: A rhythmic arrangement that builds on snaps, claps, guitar riffs and harmonies to reach its catchy chorus. The sisters’ three distinctive voices each get moments to shine on “Want You Back,” especially Alana’s solo bridge. Though expertly arranged, the track maintains a spontaneous feel.
“You Never Knew”
If “Nothing’s Wrong” evokes early Fleetwood Mac, “You Never Knew” sounds like a lost track from Christine McVie’s synth-pop moment (remember “Everywhere?”). Willowy backing vocals and cool electronic elements put a fresh spin on strummy guitar lines.
“Found it in Silence”
An exhilarating string arrangement lends power and purpose to this composition about self-discovery. The lyrics describe awakening to the disappointments and betrayals of a bad relationship—and there’s no turning back. “Found it in Silence” is about striking out on your own with confidence and clarity.
“Night So Long”
The album’s closer plays like a hymn, not-quite chorus and not quite verse. Danielle Haim told NPR the composition sat unfinished for years before the band decided to record it. If “Want You Back” starts Something to Tell You on an upbeat note, “Night So Long” is a murky, challenging downer that reveals how deep the record’s journey has gone.