Haim - “Falling”
At this point, pretty much everybody and their mothers (<christrager>literally</christrager>) has heard of Haim. They’re the sister act that sounds like a cross between a 70s rock band and a mid–90s pop/R&B (usually Fleetwood Mac by way of Wilson Phillips). They’ve been on Saturday Night Live making the infamous bass face. They’re a minor cultural phenomenon …
who just happened to have put out one of the best albums of 2013. An old-school album where half of the songs have been, will be, or should be hit singles. All written and performed by the band themselves.
“Falling” is a perfect example of a Haim song, maybe the perfect example. The quiet open that highlights the vocals before opening up into a full on 90s synth pop song. As the song builds, so do the harmonies, and the really powerful low end—the bass and drums pack a punch while not ever overpowering the song. (Though, I'll admit: one morning, I drove into work with the volume a little louder than normal and, damn, that bass line and low end drums seriously shook the car. Just listen to the first 30 seconds in a good pair of headphones.) And then you hop in the Haim time machine again, as you get a very out of the 80s guitar solo.
It’s just a really great radio single. A really smart music blog said that if this were released by Beyonce, it would have been the top song of the year. I think that's spot on, though I think maybe Gaga would have been a more appropriate proxy artist.