Haim are back! After their more pop-leaning second album, they return with the posthumously titled ‘Women in Music Pt. III’. I can now say with no uncertainty that this is probably one of, if not the, best albums of the year, and it’s only June.

‘Women in Music Pt. III’ is their most personal, inventive and consistent album so far, with wide-ranging music styles and unexpected depth to the lyrics that just blew me away. This sixteen track album has such variation in genre over the course of the sixteen tracks that it feels like the band went through the equivalent of a pick and mix shop and chose the genres they love, scattering them throughout the album for a thoroughly eclectic experience whilst still owing to their love of rock.

The album kicks off with the pleasant pop-rock grooves of ‘Los Angeles’ which finds the band feeling lost in their home town. We then head into the kick in the face that is ‘The Steps,’ an all-powerful track that leaves you wanting more. The third track is the UK garage influenced the sound of ‘I Know Alone,’ which at its release reflected the isolation that lockdown brought.

The sisters zip around different styles on this album, the R&B stylings of ‘3am’ that revolves around a late-night rendezvous. ‘Another Try’ is also an R&B flavoured track that sounds like it’ll be on summer playlists for years to come. They also take in country-rock on the track ‘Leaning On You’ along with electro-pop and synth-pop on the banger that is ‘All That Ever Mattered.’

The real emotional core of the album lies around tracks such as: ‘Now I’m In It’, ‘I’ve Been Down’ and ‘FUBT’. All of these tracks deal with Danielle Haim’s experience of depression. On ‘I’ve Been Down’ with lyrics like “Would you even pick me out in the crowd? Cause I can’t recognize myself now, and I’m turning away help, can you pull me out?” All of these tracks feel very personal and reflect depression in an honest light, and I praise Haim for speaking about this on their record.

The albums closing tracks consist of the three singles they released first, which remain powerful even now. The electro-pop of ‘Now I’m In It’ and the experience of falling into depression feel just as powerful now as they did then. The track ‘Hallelujah’ deals with the death of Alana Haim’s best friend and has the most heavenly instrumentals and vocals on the entire record.  Closer ‘Summer Girl’ is a jazz infused track that screams summertime and is a very relaxing way to end the album.

‘Women In Music Pt. III’ cements Haim as one of the best bands around. It reflects that life has its ups and its downs, and it’s what makes us human. I believe that if you can encapsulate that in a record like Haim have, then you are one of the best.

Haim: Women In Music – Out Now (Polydor Records)

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