Siblings Danielle, Este and Alana Haim are sisters who began doing it for themselves from a very early age. Born and raised in California’s Sunshine Valley, guitarist/vocalist Danielle, bassist Este and versatile guitarist and keyboardist Alana mastered their respective instruments during their formative years; Danielle and Este first cut their teeth with local pop-rock sensations the Valli Girls, whose ‘Always There In You’ appeared on the soundtrack to the 2005 teen drama film The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants. Despite this early breakthrough, the girls initially opted for further education over a full-time musical career, taking time over creating the songs that would appear on Haim’s 2014 debut album, Days Are Gone. However, after finishing high school, Danielle Haim was soon lured back into the musical fold. She gained valuable experience touring with Jenny Lewis and as part of Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas’ touring band before joining CeeLo Green’s all-girl backing group.
Listen to Days Are Gone right now.
Reuniting with her sisters, Danielle formed Haim and the trio self-released their debut EP, Forever, in February 2012. Haim soon expanded to a quartet when drummer Dash (son of Three Dog Night’s Danny) Hutton performed with the girls at the EP’s release party at Los Angeles’ Bootleg Theater and took up permanent residence behind the kit.
A series of successful shows at the prestigious SXSW Festival in Texas led to Haim signing a UK deal with Polydor in June 2013. Profile-raising transatlantic support slots followed, with the band joining Mumford And Sons’ Gentlemen Of The Road US tour and then sharing stages with Florence + The Machine in the UK in December 2013.
Haim initially built their reputation upon their hard-edged, guitar-driven live sound, yet their 2014 debut, Days Are Gone, was a measured, melodic affair, with the songs’ already beguiling hooks given a modern, R&B-flavoured pop sheen by co-producers Ariel Rechtshaid (Madonna, No Doubt) and former Arctic Monkeys’ deskman James Ford.
Released on 27 September 2014, Days Are Gone quickly found favour with the critics. The New York Times declared the record to be “as convincing as any major-label rock album this year” and detected mainstream pop of the quality of “early Madonna, the erotic power of Pat Benatar [or] the breathlessness of Sheena Easton.”
Fans on both sides of the Atlantic readily agreed, with Days Are Gone entering the US Billboard 200 at No.6 and debuting at No.1 in the UK. The album has since been certified gold in the UK, having also bequeathed three Top 30 hits courtesy of ‘Falling’, ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’ and the lush, seductive ‘The Wire’.
Haim have continued to attract acclaim, receiving a Best New Artist nomination at the 2015 Grammy Awards and contributing to tracks on Primal Scream’s Chaosmosis. In a recent NME interview, Este Haim hinted that their second album, Something To Tell You, would be “modern, exciting and fearless”, and its arrival certainly confirmed Haim to be a band for whom only the sky is the limit.
Days Are Gone can be bought here.