© 2023 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

HAIM, Relaxed, Releases Lou Reed-Inspired 'Summer Girl'

HAIM's L.A. rock-and-pop bohemia always pairs best with an oversized pair of designer sunglasses and a glass of rosé. In songs often about sisterhood and togetherness, the sister trio's sun-soaked strut and sway is best experienced with besties, especially when faced with love or life lost.

With playful doot-doot-doo's, alternating ascending and descending upright and electric bass lines, breathy saxophone and a junkyard drum beat that recalls the only Primitive Radio Gods song you know, "Summer Girl" has all the makings of a quintessential HAIM track, but hung off the shoulder like a strappy dress that just won't stay in place. There's a familiarity to the whole ensemble — Lou Reed even ends up getting a songwriting credit for those "Walk on the Wild Side"-style doot's — but the inspiration hits even closer.

"This song started out as a Garage Band demo in my phone with just a bass line, drums, some gibberish and a doot doot doot little melody," guitarist and vocalist Danielle Haim writes on Twitter. "I wrote it around the time my partner was diagnosed with cancer a couple years ago while we were making [Something to Tell You]. (He's in the clear now!)

"We were touring on and off at this time and every time we were on the phone with each other or when I would come home in between shows, I wanted to be this light that shined on him when he was feeling very dark," she continues. "I wanted to be his hope when he was feeling hopeless."

Danielle Haim took the demo to Rostam Batmanglij, who wrote the sax melody and added the bass parts — and not two weeks later, HAIM offers this video of "Summer Girl" in hopes of "releasing new music as we're working on it."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Listen to the Viking's Choice playlist, subscribe to the newsletter.