Essentials: “Summer Girl” – HAIM

When California sister trio, HAIM, released their debut album Days Are Gone, I was thrilled to hear their fresh sound with its heavy drum instrumentals and R&B influences in addition to synth. Singles “The Wire,” “Don’t Save Me” and “Falling” were quick to catch attention and became favorites for a long highway drive. 

HAIM has dropped a new single, the aptly named “Summer Girl.” It is the band’s first new single since 2017’s “Something to Tell You.” “Summer Girl” features a new sound. While the drum elements we know are very much still present, “Summer Girl” is softer than what we know and features jazz elements courtesy of Rostam Batmanglij‘s production.  This jazz element is seen most notably in the prominently featured saxophone, but also in the gentle swing rhythm that anchors the track. 

Lyrically, it would be easy to chalk “Summer Girl” up to a feel good seasonal tune, very much matching the final few frames of the video in which the girls, dressed in summer clothes, walk off into an LA sunset. In reality, “Summer Girl” is inspired by Danielle Haim’s experience caring for her partner was diagnosed with cancer. It is meant to inspire hope in what might seem like a desolate situation. To this end, “Summer Girl” is successful. It’s breezy, easy, and a—dare I say it—summer song, but not too poppy or happy. It’s bright, but still real. 

Personally, I miss the more pop feel of Days are Gone,but “Summer Girl” is a refreshing track, adventurous in its combinations and authentic to the situation which birthed the music. As always, I am excited to see what HAIM will come out with next—it’s been too long since we’ve heard from these California girls. 

Follow HAIM on Spotify.

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