Monday 20 November 2017

Music: Haim - Sisters of super sounds

Sister Act: Haim are three sisters from Los Angeles, Este, Danielle and Alana. Their debut album, 'Days Are Gone', is a favourite of David Cameron, but don't let that put you off
Sister Act: Haim are three sisters from Los Angeles, Este, Danielle and Alana. Their debut album, 'Days Are Gone', is a favourite of David Cameron, but don't let that put you off
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

It has a certain ring to it: The Bagel Bitches. In an interview with Shalom Life last year, the Haim sisters – Este (27), Danielle (24) and Alana (22) – said they considered calling their band that in reference to their Jewishness.

At the risk of turning into a Woody Allen skit, for their first ever show they played at a Jewish deli in Hollywood and were paid in matzah ball soup.

The three LA sisters decided against naming themselves The Bagel Bitches in favour of Haim (rhymes with time.) Asked about the vocal-style and US-rock comparisons made between them and Fleetwood Mac, Alana said recently that she finds "it flattering. How can I ever say, 'Ugh, oh my God, we sound like Fleetwood Mac'. I've wished on every star that I end up as successful as Fleetwood Mac. I grew up listening to Fleetwood Mac; I'm obsessed with them. I never get mad about those things, I just think its hilarious because when I listen to my music I hear harmonies, so maybe that's the Fleetwood Mac vibes".

Stevie Nicks vibes notwithstanding, they've just released their debut album, Days Are Gone, which has been described as one of the pop albums of the year. Even a certain David Cameron is a fan of Days Are Gone. After meeting Haim on The Andrew Marr Show, the British Prime Minister tweeted: "Looking forward to listening to the album they gave me."

The girls have also built quite a momentum behind them globally in the last year. They have signed to Jay Z's US label Roc Nation. They've also toured with Florence And The Machine and Arctic Monkeys and played with Primal Scream at Glastonbury last summer. (Their gig in The Academy in Dublin in December is sold out and they have added a show at The Olympia in March.)

They are certainly characters. Este, for instance, actually gave out her phone number during a live set at London's Roundhouse recently. "Do we get phonecalls? All the time and I love it," laughed the star. "I haven't changed my phone number; I don't want to change it. I get to connect and hang out with people in every city we go to. People have been really nice ... well no one has sent a dick pic or anything yet. I FaceTime some people and then try to get back to everyone that text messages me. It's kind of like having a bunch of pen-pals."

Any messers out there would need to be careful. Este told NME that at school in San Fernando Valley she "warned everyone: 'If you f*** with my sisters, I will f***ing kill you.' I'm so protective".

Asked to define the increasingly hip Haim sound by GQ magazine recently, Alana answered thus: "It's kind of hard to explain because we mix our whole lives into our sound. When we were super little we were in a band with our parents called Rockinhaim and grew up listening to the Rolling Stones, Tina Turner, a lot of Shaka Khan – all the best stuff. We would learn their songs and play them together.

"But we also grew up in the nineties, which is the best era for pop. I had the voices of Britney, Christina, N Sync, Backstreet Boys, Destiny's Child, Mariah Carey as a child. So it's kind of morphed together. It's like a weird, sub-conscious stew in our brains of what we grew up with and what we heard on the radio."

Haim play The Academy, Dublin on December 13th. They play the Olympia Theatre on Match 10th.

Sunday Independent

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