Paul Thomas Anderson Directed the New HAIM Video, and Lo, It Is Good
As you all already know – because, like me, you begin every day by checking the California pop outfit HAIM’s Instagram account – the trio of sisters have been teasing something big for the past week. They posted on Tuesday that something was coming Thursday morning, and because Thursday morning is now, that something has been revealed as the music video promoting the first single from their upcoming sophomore studio record Something To Tell You. But it gets better — the visual accompaniment for “Right Now” was directed by none other than Paul Thomas Anderson, continuing his campaign of directing videos for every musician you have a crush on.
After helming clips for Joanna Newsom, Fiona Apple, and the no-less-crushworthy Radiohead, Anderson has returned to the recording booth for an intimate, long-take video that gets fans up close and personal with Haim sisters Este, Danielle, and Alana. (It’s a natural fit, too — both PTA and HAIM share a slavish devotion to the sounds and sensations of Los Angeles.) Working in a cool, subdued blue palette, Anderson slowly guides his camera around the studio as the sisters lay down the track. But there’s sophistication in what might outwardly seem like a simple approach; Anderson moves with measured purpose, communicating space and closeness with slight camera moves that strategically shift attention to each sister. Note how Anderson’s frames himself up so that he can seamlessly pan or rack focus to Este every time she echoes on the chorus. The guy’s a pro.
HAIM will pull back the curtain on their long-awaited Something To Tell You on July 7, and if god be merciful, we’ll get another PTA collaboration before then. (The man directed three different clips for cuts off Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool, so multiple releases aren’t out of the question.) Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to watch this video eight more times.