Este, Alana and Danielle of Haim [Getty]
Los Angeles trio Haim have been an industry buzz band for over a year – and they’ve only just released their debut album. Can the sisters live up to the hype
Meeting the three sisters who make up Haim is a dizzying experience. They possess a sisterly sixth sense, finishing each other’s sentences and saying the same thing at the same time. With their identical flowing locks, Valley-girl speak and cocktail of black, white and pastel-hued Topshop and Acne offerings, it’s a challenge to distinguish Este, Alana and Danielle Haim.
‘We do all kinda look the same. Hey, I’ll put my hair up,’ offers 27-year-old bass player Este, the blondest and the eldest. Lead guitarist Danielle is the quietest and most intense, apologising for ordering room- temperature water. ‘I know it’s weird, sorry,’ she mumbles. ‘We’re such divas,’ exclaims Alana, 21, the chattiest of the three. Like Este, Alana is self-deprecating and witty; describing Danielle as the ‘Will.i.am’ of the group (‘She’s always on some future sh*t’), she promptly renames her Dan.i.elle.
The three are as tight in person as the gorgeous harmonies that saw them top the BBC’s Sound of 2013 list. The trio formed a band with their parents when Alana was just four, called the Rockinghaims, playing soft-rock covers at county fairs around LA. Eventually, the three dropped their parents and the ‘Rocking’, and Haim (it rhymes with ‘time’, FYI) was born. But after being spotted at SXSW in 2012 and releasing their first EP, it’s been an 18-month wait for their brilliant debut album Days Are Gone. Why? ‘When we put out the EP, it was just for our friends,’ Danielle explains. ‘We’d been playing together for years and never recorded anything, so we put it on Facebook and it got maybe one blog post. But after SXSW, things moved so fast.’
In almost no time, Haim have notched up loads of celebrity mates (Mumford & Sons, Angel Hazel) and Alana recently noticed she has a new famous follower. ‘Harry Styles added me on Twitter one day,’ she says, faux casually. ‘His fans are the craziest fans I’ve ever encountered in my life – an hour later I got 5,000 followers.’
The girls all say they’re single. ‘We have enough fun without boyfriends,’ they chime – but Este admits to a crush on Styles’ band member Zayn Malik. ‘You know he’s engaged, right?’ says Alana. ‘What? When? To who? Dream. Officially. Crushed,’ says Este, looking mournful for all of two seconds.
The sisters are genuinely surprised that, to some, the thought of working with family would be a nightmare. ‘The key is not taking anything seriously. Apart from the music,’ says Este. ‘Sometimes we have the longest day and I look at these two and I’m like, “What would I do without my sisters?”’
‘Days Are Gone’ is out now
Words: Hattie Collins