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HAIM Debut New Song ‘Right Now,’ Paul Thomas Anderson-Directed Video — Not a Moment Too Soon

Variety logo Variety 4/27/2017 Eve Barlow
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It’s about HAIM, and it’s about time.

The sister trio that took the music world by storm in 2013 with their debut album “Days Are Gone” is back with a new song and an accompanying live video, “Right Now.”

First and foremost a rhythm-based rock band, HAIM are three players who love to wield instruments before they necessarily see a path or a song to carry them along. They are a trio who has the kind of distinct musical chemistry bestowed upon them via DNA before any producer or collaborator needs to enter the mix. While their first shred into the world was the “Forever” EP in 2012, most of us came to their songs while watching them unfold at a HAIM gig. It was when receiving that onstage fusion of familial joy and pure musicality that hearts were eternally won over and destroyed. That confidence and musical cohesion of inorganic sounds came together on “Days Are Gone,” one of the most anticipated records by a newcomer act, released by Columbia Records in September of 2013.

If the waiting for “Days Are Gone” seemed impatient, the anticipation for their follow-up album (“Something to Tell You”) would be enough to cripple a band. “Right Now,” however, finds the girls playing to their strengths. Having opened hundreds of shows in the early years with the song “Better Off,” “Right Now” takes listeners straight back to that first introduction to Danielle Haim, a surly, lovelorn troubadour with a bone to pick. Here, she begins with the lyric, “Give you my love / You give me nothing,” delivered with the disappointment of a lover scorned who finds her ex crawling back a little too late.

Via director Paul Thomas Anderson’s in-studio one-take live video, we catch glimmers of the three characters we’ve come to know: Baby Haim (aka Alana), who’s not sure whether the camera’s rolling yet; Bassface Haim (aka Este), whose red-lipped emoting is always intertwined with her strumming; and Danielle whose composure belies her role as ultimately the conductor of this train.

Sitting at a piano for the first time, Danielle’s voice paves the song’s way as it builds via rhythmic snare, belly-curdling chord strums, celestial synths, and eventually twin-drumming from Este and Alana. The Haim sisters were drummers first, and they remain drummers to the core. Battering the skins of their instruments towards the song’s climax, “Right Now” feels like a bridge to somewhere. You wonder if on the other side is a place where HAIM’s live power finds its way inside the studio so they can join the canon of those classic rock bands who gave them their education.

Watch the video for “Right Now” below:

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