HAIM Lays Themselves Out Bare in 'Women in Music Pt. III'
Sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim deliver a highly personal album while experimenting with new sounds.
HAIM threw out all of the rules on their third studio album, Women in Music Pt. III. In blending their classic pop-rock style with indie influences, folk music and a little R&B, HAIM effortlessly took their sound to the next level. Guitars drive songs with extremely personal themes, touching on depression (“Now I’m In It”), abusive relationships (“FUBT”) and health problems within a relationship (“Summer Girl”).
With the title, you can expect some of the songs to touch on themes of their femininity and feelings of being underestimated as female musicians. “Man from the Magazine” takes two specific experiences and writes a scathing condemnation of sexism in the music industry. The first of these stories involves Este being asked if she makes the faces she does on stage “in bed” by an interviewer. “You don’t know how it feels, you expect me to deal with it/’Til I’m perfectly numb” is sung on the chorus as a response to the thoughtless comments made at them because of their gender.
Every one of the risks they took on this album have paid off to create their best release to date. While some of the lyrics are simple, others really pack a punch and HAIM delivers their viewpoint with gusto. They told Apple Music in an interview that this album was meant to be therapeutic and how it has really helped them to be able to “scream it in song form” (and they really do scream in the middle of “All That Ever Mattered”).
However, despite all of the vulnerability the three sisters have shown, there are still some fun songs on the tracklist. “3 am” is about exactly what it sounds like - a booty call. And “Los Angeles” is a love letter to their hometown. So even outside of the personal and deep themes, there is levity to be found within the album to lighten it up a little bit. Of course the majority of the instrumentation is upbeat and fun, a direct contrast to some of the things the sister’s are singing about.
Even though they took on some new sounds, the influence of the previous HAIM’s sound is still there on songs such as “Don’t Wanna” and “Now I’m In It.” Songs like that fit into the album like your favorite and comfiest old t-shirt. You know - the one that feels like home the second you put it on. Taking the vulnerable lyricism and punctuating it with the sound fans have come to know and love has allowed HAIM to keep the fans they already had, while also branching out into new markets.