I will confess, when I first heard Little of Your Love, the latest of three singles for Haim’s upcoming drought-breaking album (not the one that’s just released a music video, I’ll talk about that more in the future), my first thought was Sara Bareilles. Until now Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, and even the likes of TLC were adequate lazy shorthands for Haim to explain their sound. They are influences that seem at one with their image – a trio of San Fernando Valley-raised sisters who started playing in a cover band as children with their parents, those musical experiences are ones that you imagine were ones had in parents’ cars, living room sound systems, or school dances in childhood.
But back to the Bareilles comparison. I thought of Little Black Dress, her 2013 pop tune of upbeat resolve and acceptance, of resigning to having to get up and start all over again.
I’ll get my little black dress on / And if I put on my favorite song / I’m gonna dance until you’re all gone / I’ll get my little black dress on
The comparison is not in the way myself and millions of others noticed in 2013 when Katy Perry’s Roar sounded suspiciously like Brave, another Bareilles song. It was a similarity to such a large degree that it became easy to confuse the two, the first notes becoming indistinct from each other after repeated radio play (and they had a similar can’t-keep-me-down message to boot).
Little of Your Love has the same driving staccato piano, guitar, and drum backing as Little Black Dress, defiantly strutting and pumping through 200-or-so seconds to resolve, and Danielle Haim’s vocals have the same powerful lilt. Both speak of the magnetic push-pull of saying goodbye when you simply can’t let go. The lyrics are cyclical, that despite saying you’re done with it it’s going to keep coming back and pulling you back in. You weren’t even worth my time / Could be so easy, you make it hard the Haim tune says, before continuing to beg and try. Return to the scene of the crime, the day I let the music die / And rewrite the final lines the Bareilles says.
Little of Your Love may sound done many times before and not as distinctive as Haim’s previous work, a breakup melody done to death just purely because of how contagious it is. It’s an emotional earworm of the highest order, that moment of defiance when first walking away before being dragged back in. Just like there are only so many melodies, there are only so many ways of expressing an emotion so universal. You gotta give me just a little of your love, baby the chorus says And I’ll try.