Laurel Canyon meets r'n'b in the best new band in the world. Ever.
REVOLVER: BRIAN BOYDon music
AT THE SXSW music bash earlier this year, a female music person was enthusiastically expressing her admiration for the band on stage. Very taken by how they looked and sounded, she announced loudly: “That band is so sexy, you might as well bend me over the bar and take me now!”
Haim were the band in question: three sisters from the San Fernando Valley, making the sort of music you thought you’d never hear again. And seeing as how you won’t be able to move over the next few weeks for the Best New Act 2013 polls and awards, I’ve decided to get in early and declare Haim the best new band in the world. Ever.
Haim (it rhymes with “time” not “shame”) are Danielle, Este and Alana Haim. They all sing, although Danielle is the main vocalist – and she sounds as good as a young Stevie Nicks. They write their own material and can really play. For evidence of the latter take a look at their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Oh Well on YouTube.
What distinguishes Haim from the pack is how quickly they’ve found their own sound. To date they’ve only had a few singles out, but after signing with a major label a few months ago the debut album will be good to go in February or March. By combining a retro Laurel Canyon sound with contemporary r’n’b, Haim will be the freshest thing you’ll hear next year.
They also have a Louis Theroux-style “weird” background story. Their mother won an America’s Got Talent-style show when they were in their early teens and gave up her estate agency job to bring the family on the road as a full-time band called Rockinhaim.
By all accounts it was all very Partridge Family. Rockinhaim travelled around California playing cover versions of the likes of Billy Joel and Santana. “It was good fun but very dorky being in a band with your parents,” they recall. But once the sisters became accomplished musicians and began writing their own material, they decided to kick mom and dad out of the band and call themselves Haim.
The sibs grew up in a household full of Beatles and Stones music, but they were always a lot more into the likes of Destiny’s Child, TLC, Brandy and Monica. All those influences seep into their songs. As they say: “We still have the structure of old-school rock but the r’n’b adds the spice.”
The Haim sound will keep both daytime radio and indie fundamentalists on board. They really do have it all, and you will see their name on all the upcoming “Next Big Thing” lists – but they have to avoid the Mona syndrome.
Mona, if you remember, were the latest, greatest saviours of guitar music a couple of years ago, with almost everyone hyperventilating about their potential. They simply couldn’t deliver on all the hype. With Haim getting the same sort of attention, you can only hope they ride out the obligatory backlash, tour their album and be given space to breathe.
You can get in early with Haim when they play Dublin’s O2 on December 12th as openers for Florence + the Machine.
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