They’ve toured with a star-studded list of bands (Vampire Weekend, Rihanna, Florence + the Machine, Mumford and Sons, Phoenix, and the xx), and played many major music festivals this past year (SXSW, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, The Governor’s Ball, Firefly, Reading, Leeds, and Jay Z’s Made In America). This list of credentials is even more impressive knowing that the group barely released their incredible debut album a month ago.
Though the sisters have been playing together their entire lives, it was a long time before the HAIM we now have come to love, actually formed. The first incarnation of the Haim family band didn’t actually include the sisters, but rather their musical parents. Motti and Donna Haim played in a The Mamas & the Papas cover band, before reinventing themselves into an oldies tribute project called Boomerang. Motti then dreamed (literally) of expanding their act to their girls, in the new cover band Rockinhaim.
Before officially forming HAIM, Danielle and Este took a slight detour. They joined a teen girl pop group called Valli Girls—yes, you read that right. If you’re brave enough to listen, here’sBorn To Lead:
After Este finished getting her ethnomusicology degree at UCLA (a program I was very interested in, before I sadly got declined), and Alana finished studying at The LA County’s High School of the Arts, the sisters officially began their career as HAIM.
I love the group because they’re so relatable and charming. Watch any interview (and believe me, I have watched plenty), and you will instantly see the charisma and their amazing sense of humor. The FADER describes them best:
Haim are perhaps the prototypical millennial band, their image simultaneously conservative but liberal, safe but dangerous.
They make you feel as if you are their friends, rather than fans—that is exactly their goal too. Este even answers texts from her friends, as she accidentally gave out her number to fans at a show last year.
As feminine archetypes, they aren’t your friends in the fantasy version of your life—they’re your friends in real life. -SPIN Magazine
One thing that Este and I have in common is our musical performance actions. I’m known for my “clarinet dancing,” where I use to grove, rock, and stomp along to music while playing my classical instrument. Este is known for her “bass face.” SPIN describes it as:
In the course of one song, her facial expressions shifts pliantly from a contorted wincing to a violent pucker to a sudden grimace—it appears as if she’s just stepped barefoot on a rusty nail, gulped air like a fish, and bestowed an invisible kiss, all in 30 seconds.
I won’t go that far, but all in all, it’s pretty EPIC.
HAIM makes their act all about the music, and that’s what makes them that much more incredible in sound. “Critics have struggled to describe the band’s sound, often falling back on a weak comparison to Fleetwood Mac, and that’s partly because they draw from such a wide landscape” (Tessa Stuart, LA Weekly). In response to that, MTV describes their wide landscape best: HAIM is “70s classic rock-meets 90s R&B vibe (think Fleetwood Mac meets Destiny’s Child).” Their sound is a culmination of three decades worth of material, plus parental influence. It’s otherwise indescribable, besides noting it as heavenly.
This sound is incredibly conveyed in Days Are Gone.The album is a cohesive collection of perfect unique tunes.