This mournful, scathing song features Haim singing about a relationship that turned out to be one-sided:
Gave you my love thought I could trust you
You let me down at every turn
You had me hanging on a dream you never believed
You gave me your word
The three sisters are putting this ex-lover dude on blast.
Alana Haim told Rolling Stone
she sees the song as an ode to powerful women. "I grew up listening to Tom Petty's 'You Got Lucky
,' where the whole theme is, 'You're lucky to be with me,'" she said. "I never really heard a song that said that from a woman's perspective. Being a woman in a power position and dating someone, in my experience, is hard. You need a man who's strong enough, to paraphrase Sheryl Crow."
Danielle Haim added, "We deal with that a lot – not even in dating, but just being the chairwomen of our company. Asserting our power – sometimes it's tough."
The song's release was accompanied by a live music video shot by acclaimed film director Paul Thomas Anderson of There Will Be Blood, Magnolia and Boogie Nights fame. It was filmed on location at Valentine Recording Studios, North Hollywood, California, on November 3, 2016 and features the camera scanning the trio of sisters performing the song in studio booths.
Like the three Haim sisters, Anderson grew up in the Valley, and the girls' mother, Donna, was his elementary-school art teacher. "She told us he was a really talented kid," Alana told Rolling Stone, "but really hyperactive, and that she tied him to his chair with yarn once, to get him to sit still." (Laughs) "This was back in the day – not legal now!"
It was Anderson's idea to film the band at work in the studio, having noted a difference between their records and their raucous live shows. "He said that he would see our little videos online, where we would be banging on a table and singing and snapping our fingers," Danielle told the BBC. "He was like, 'I love that you guys do that. I want to film you doing that in the studio and really get a sense of who you are.'"
Such is the girls' attention to detail, the final version of "Right Now" is dated May 5, 2017, a fortnight after the video premiered on YouTube. "When you write a song, you know in your mind what it should sound like - but getting there is trial and error," explained Danielle. "We spent a lot of time getting the right sounds. We recorded drums in a lot of different rooms to get the right sounds."
Alana Haim recalled the story of the song during a Pitchfork track-by-track interview
"I had the demo of this on my phone, and when it connected to my car Bluetooth the other day it was really just the chorus and Danielle singing, 'Right now, right now,' over and over again. And it transformed into this very powerful song that honestly gave me strength in a weird way."
Danielle Haim continued: "And then everything comes in on, 'You gave me your word,' which we wanted to feel like, BOOM. Because you're realizing someone has lied to you. It's that feeling of rage, fury."
Danielle Haim explained the song's background to NPR:
"We all play percussion on the record, and we wanted a song that kind of exploded. Este came up with the tag, 'Right now, right now' and we knew we had something. From there we just built and built and built.
It's just us exploring different dynamics in a song, but it was the first time I tried to make the music follow the [feeling] of the lyrics, especially in the line 'You gave me your word!'
We tried to express that feeling in the music, how intense it is when you feel like someone's given you their word and the moment you realize it was bulls--t. So we tried to see how the lyric can affect the music."