Song 282: HAIM, “The Wire” (2013)


Within seconds, your ear and brain start ticking off the influences in “The Wire”: Fleetwood Mac, “Heartache Tonight”-era Eagles, Wings. That slapback reverb, those soaring guitars, the light strings—it the late seventies and early eighties seeping out its edges. These influences are very trendy right now, and it’s made me wonder if this song will sound as great in five or ten years.

And I think it will, because at its heart, “The Wire” is just plain awesome. The production may sound dated in a few years, but it’s so impeccably put-together, so particular about its sound, that you have to at the very least admire HAIM’s commitment to their aesthetic. Plus, there’s that melody, at once so original and so reminiscent of pop hits from years past. Underneath the of-the-moment (and fantastic) production, this is just a great song.

The HAIM buzz has been building for a while now, and I always get nervous for bands in these circumstances. The hype machine is enthusiastic but often ruthless, devoting an equal amount of energy to spitting out as it does to devouring. I hope HAIM can weather the attention without experiencing too much of a backlash, because “The Wire” and the band’s other singles make me wonder what else they’ve got in them.


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