The band Haim—made up of three titular siblings—is a rare thing in today's music scene: Unlike so many other musicians who shun their pop culture roots, Haim revel in Top 40 classics—and their music is the better for it. For proof, look no further than Days Are Gone, the trio's first full-length album, which debuted today.
There's already been plenty of conjecture about the radio hit roots of Haim: Last week, Portishead frontman Geoff Barrow made himself look both dumb and snobbish when he tweeted "Hiam [sic] sound like Shania Twain ... When did that become a good thing?" Two days later, Slate called Haim "pop's most brilliant new cover band," pointing to their renditions of Miley Cyrus and Sheryl Crow. But that's not quite right either, though their covers are pretty excellent, too.
It's possible to divine all kinds of references in Days Are Gone, from Beyonce (My Song 5) to Kate Bush (Falling), but the album never dips into mimicry. That's what's really remarkable (and really, very rare) about this band: There's a point blank acceptance of style, imitation, and originality that puts Top 40 R&b on the same pedestal as prog rock as... anything, really. It's one of the most unpretentious albums in recent memory, and if you ask me, it signals an end to the obscurity clause that's haunted indie music for a decade. Good riddance.