Haim – Don’t Save Me EP

Haim are certainly busy making a name for themselves, fresh off a headline tour of their own and currently touring as support for the gargantuan Florence and the Machine. There’s evidently something special going on here, especially if industry buzz is anything to go by, but it’s difficult to decide what exactly; just when you think you’ve got Haim sussed, they slip away into a cloud of categorical uncertainty.  Are they another folk sister outfit, of the Pierces/Staves ilk, or a talented rock‘n’roll band with a live show to match and all the associated swagger? Are they a throwback to the female R&B acts of the late 90s, or are they actually closer to synth pop revival?

The truth, of course, is that they are a bit of all of these things, and then some. You wouldn’t necessarily be able to tell this from their second EP though, which leans a lot further towards pop than any of the aforementioned genres. They’re all still hiding in the songs somewhere; in Danielle’s distinctive vocals, the lovely melodies and harmonies, or in the forceful, dark synth chords of b-side “Send Me Down”. Yet the overriding tone of the EP, and especially the title track, is that of sheer pop catchiness.

Thankfully, the band does it very well; “Don’t Save Me” is a thoroughly enjoyable and well-made track, with its shamelessly light pop vibe countered the darker tones of “Send Me Down”. It’s a small shame the songs aren’t more representative of their sound, or don’t really have any of the considerable bite of their live show, but you can only expect two songs to achieve so much. It just makes going to see them live, or waiting patiently for a debut album, all the more imperative.

Release: 3rd December 2012, Polydor


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