Don’t let the Alanis Morissette hair or the hipster thrift store outfits fool ya… beneath the indie pop exterior of HAIM beats the hearts of three R&B girls. I gotta thank my homey Jeff at MTV for putting me on to “If I Could Change Your Mind” as not only am I now team HAIM, but a quick Google search lead me to the single’s MK-produced 90’s house makeover as well as a serious deep house compilation from Pleasurekraft (read all about that in the post below this one… or here.)
The song open with a curiosity-piquing series of atmospheric guitar strums and percussion accents that had me wondering, “OK… where is this going?” My question was quickly answered when the first verse kicked in with a surprisingly funky baseline and chugging beat supporting those 80s teen movie heartbreak lyrics. The payoff of the initial buildup is that earworm hook; it’s not bash-you-over-the-head obvious like “...Baby One More Time”, but more of a ninja-styled chorus that sneaks up on you and has you singing along whether you like it or not… but c’mon, you like it. And those harmonies and background vocals? Pure pop bliss!
It’s funny that a little mood lighting and a well-timed choreographed snap is all it took and I was sold five seconds into the video. Their look suggests that these girls are into Florence & The Machine but their dance moves say “a little Destiny’s Child with some Vanity 6 ain’t neva hurt nobody.” Yes, the ladies treat us to an impressive routine that recalls classic girl group choreography and while they’re singing about “changing minds” they were blowing mine when I realized that they also play instruments! How many other female bands—- actual bands—- can you name that hit you with a one, two step and not embarrass themselves? I’ll wait.
There isn’t much else going on in the video but there doesn’t need to be—- the focus is wisely on the ladies’ performance on that soundstage with the American Bandstand-esque logo reminding you of the group’s name. I’m digging these girls and “If I Could Change Your Mind” is a fitting soundtrack for the eagerly awaited arrival of spring here in NYC. Press play and discover the awesomeness that is HAIM; it’s like finding out that the artsy/emo/weird girl that sits next to you in class is totally into… En Vogue. Grade: A
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