Singles Party: Haim, ‘The Wire’

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This week the Singles Party wanders into the sunny side of indie rock — exploring the latest track from the female trio known as Haim. The group has been a ferocious touring act for the past few summers, being a staple at festivals across the nation and the work has seemingly paid off — their new record, Days Are Gone, which will be released September 30, is a hotly anticipated slice of indie deliciousness.

Nick Porcaro: The latest single from sister trio (and their drummer) Haim is a lovely mix of shuffling guitar rock, smoothly orchestrated pop and singer-songwriter catharsis. Pretty much everything here is spot-on, from the Gary Glitter-esque opening stomp to Danielle Haim’s slinky, sweet vocal acrobatics on the hook. It even provides something I never thought I’d hear in 2013: a fresh update on the traditional I-IV-V blues chord progression. “The Wire” should make even the grumpiest of music purists crack a smile — and don’t let them try to hide it! If this track doesn’t blow up Haim’s spot something fierce, you ought to be disappointed in yourselves for not paying attention sooner. Verdict: add to playlist.

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Kelly Gonsalves: I have mixed feelings about this track. The first thing that struck me about this track is that it sounds a little too garage band for me. While I love music that gives you that real live experience feel even from the studio-recorded version, something about this particular song also ticked me off – I just feel like there’s too much statement there, if that makes sense. But I get that that’s their style, and on that level, I can appreciate what they accomplish with it. No matter what my thoughts are on the mastering and production though, I have to admit the sound itself is perfected to a tee – the girls’ voices come together like a quirky Family Matters theme song, so blurry and attractive to the ear that I in no way paid any attention to the words they were actually singing; I was too charmed by the feel of their voices, something akin to musky silk with a edgy downtown ’90s vibe. The point of this panel is to talk straight musical quality, and in that regard, this is a solid, enjoyable track fully worth space in your playlist. Verdict: Add to Playlist.

Jason Stives: If there is one band who has been having fun teasing their fans with a spattering here and there of their work its California sister group Haim. With the announcement of the release of their full length debut on September 30th, the band dropped this swinging nugget of classic rock bliss for all to hear. Starting out with a boom/clap rhythm the women in Haim are channeling the likes of the Pretenders and the Eagles (immediately I thought of the opening to the latter’s “Heartache Tonight.”) Assumingly this is the lead single from the record and what a single to lead off with combining Este’s rich vocals with the squealing and shredding sound of sister Danielle’s guitar. It gyrates, grooves, and rollicks with the beat creating an incredibly infectious tune that is both original and a throwback of epic proportions. “The Wire” never overcomplicates itself relying heavily on the hook that changes itself up enough that repetition is never a word that can describe it. Combined this with some of their already impressive output, Haim’s debut should be one hell of an album to look forward to. In the mean time, I’ll wet my appetite regularly with this barn burner of a track. Verdict: Add to the Playlist

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Jason Kundrath: Ever since they brought the house down at SXSW last year, Haim has been on a steady upward trajectory. And while they do write great songs – “The Wire” being no exception – what’s more important to their success is that the band has a unique, defined sound of their own.

On record, they sound polished and razor sharp, but they’re driven by a much more organic engine then 99% of contemporary pop music. They play their own instruments – guitars abound – and lead singer Danielle Haim is in full command of her low alto, stacking her syllables close together, and using each one percussively to create rhythmic hooks on top of her grade A melodies. The earworms all over “The Wire” are a great example of this. The introduction – which is an unabashed tribute to the Eagles’ “Heartache Tonight,” seems like a way of letting us know they’ve have been raised on the classics, and they are ready to deliver their own. I’ll be listening. Verdict: Add to the playlist

Bill Bodkin: Haim has produced a song that seems to have been left off the Reality Bites or Singles soundtrack. “The Whire” is a very ’90s granola coffeehouse singer/songwriter that makes you miss your beeper and that old pair of Doc Martens you used to have. Why all these references? Because Haim’s “The Wire” is a song I’ve heard before…a lot. It breaks no new ground and in fact sounds like they listened to a lot of female-fronted alt folk records from 20 years ago and put their own spin on it. Sure, it’s a decent song, the players know their roles well and execute them fine, but the end result isn’t anything compelling for me to make it a song I want to listen to past my initial one. Verdict: One and done.

Final Verdict: Despite one naysayer, Pop-Break’s Singles Party crew is firmly behind the brand new track from the red hot trio.

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.