Haim (band)

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Haim-01 v 9jan13 b.jpg
Haim in January 2013
Background information
OriginSan Fernando Valley,
Los Angeles, California
GenresPop rock, soft rock, R&B
Years active2007 (2007)–present
LabelsPolydor, Columbia
Associated actsThe Valli Girls
  • Este Haim
  • Danielle Haim
  • Alana Haim
  • Dash Hutton
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Haim-01 v 9jan13 b.jpg
Haim in January 2013
Background information
OriginSan Fernando Valley,
Los Angeles, California
GenresPop rock, soft rock, R&B
Years active2007 (2007)–present
LabelsPolydor, Columbia
Associated actsThe Valli Girls
  • Este Haim
  • Danielle Haim
  • Alana Haim
  • Dash Hutton

Haim (pronounced HY-əm[1][a] and stylized as HAIM) is an American pop rock band from Los Angeles, California. The band consists of three sisters, singers and multi-instrumentalists Este, Danielle and Alana Haim and drummer Dash Hutton. The group's pop sound on their studio work stands in contrast to the more rock-based music of their live shows.

The three sisters grew up in a musical family, and began playing instruments from an early age in cover bands with their parents. They began performing as Haim in 2007, but did not seriously consider a professional career for some years. Este graduated with a degree in Ethnomusicology, while Danielle became a successful touring guitarist with Jenny Lewis and The Strokes' Julian Casablancas solo tours. This led to reactivating Haim as a full-time operation in 2012.

The group's first release, an EP Forever released on a limited-time download, combined with a well-received reception at the South by South West festival, led to a deal with Polydor Records and a management deal with Jay-Z's Roc Nation group in mid-2012. The band began recording material for their first album, Days Are Gone, in between touring, including appearances at the Glastonbury Festival. Days are Gone hit the top ten in several countries, including number one in the UK, and the group won several "best of" awards by the end of 2013. As of 2014, they are recording their second album.


Early career[edit]

Danielle Haim at Way Out West 2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden

The three sisters, Este Arielle Haim (b. March 14, 1986), Danielle Sari Haim (b. February 16, 1989) and Alana Mychal Haim (b. December 15, 1991)[3] were born and grew up in the San Fernando Valley, California. Their parents, Israeli-born father Mordechai ("Moti") and Polish descent mother Donna, came from a musical background; Moti had been a professional soccer player in Israel in addition to playing drums[4] while Donna had won a contest on The Gong Show in the 1970s covering a Bonnie Raitt song.[5][6] Danielle showed an aptitude towards the guitar at a young age, while Moti decided Este would be more suited to the bass, buying her a second hand Fender bass for $50.[7] The siblings were encouraged to listen to their parents' 1970s classic rock and Americana records and during their childhood, the family formed a band called Rockinhaim to play cover versions at local charity fairs, with Moti on drums and Donna on guitar.[5][8][9] The group played typical wedding band material, including the Beatles' "Get Back", Billy Joel's "You May Be Right" and Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl",[10] but only did free community and benefit gigs at churches, schools and hospitals.[4]

Danielle and Este were members of the pop-rock group the Valli Girls, and appeared on the soundtrack to the 2005 film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.[7] Their song "Valli Nation" by the "SoCal teen prodigies" appeared on the 2005 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards soundtrack alongside established musicians Avril Lavigne, Alicia Keys, Simple Plan and Good Charlotte.[11]

Este Haim at Way Out West 2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden

As they grew older, the sisters became more interested in incorporating pop and contemporary R&B into their music, and in 2007 they decided to form their own band.[7] The group considered naming their band "The Bagel Bitches" before settling on their last name.[12][13] For their first gig, the trio played at a Jewish deli in Hollywood and were paid in matzah ball soup.[14] Early gigs were sparsely populated; Danielle recalled "we were bottom of the bill at 50 capacity venues and no-one would show up".[15]

For the next five years, Haim played local venues but did not consider a professional career as all three sisters were busy with other projects. Este was studying at UCLA and graduated in 2010 with a degree in Ethnomusicology (completed in just two years instead of the normal five),[10][12][8] specializing in Bulgarian and Brazilian music.[10]

Danielle Haim's guest appearances[edit]

After graduating from high school, Danielle was spotted by Jenny Lewis at a jam session in Laurel Canyon, which led to Danielle joining Lewis' touring band.[7] The Strokes' singer Julian Casablancas came to see one of Lewis's shows on tour, and he in turn asked Danielle to play guitar and percussion on his own solo tour.[9] Danielle rehearsed with Casablancas' band every day for two months, which she later described as "an eye-opening experience".[10] Following this, she toured as part of Scarlet Fever, the all-female backing band for Cee-Lo Green.[8]

While Danielle enjoyed the touring experience, she decided she would prefer to perform her own music alongside her sisters,[10] turning down a lucrative tour deal with Green in the process.[15] Casablancas advised Danielle to write stronger material and focus on recording, as it would improve their online presence.[7]

Commercial success and Forever[edit]

Alana Haim at Way Out West 2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden

After playing shows supporting Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, The Henry Clay People and Kesha, Haim released the three song EP Forever in February 2012 as a time-limited free download on their website. Dash Hutton officially joined as drummer at the EP's release party at the Los Angeles Bootleg Theatre.[4] He is the son of Three Dog Night's Danny Hutton[16] and former member of the band Wires on Fire, who knew Este socially.[4][12]

The EP received attention from the music industry following a successful series of shows gig at the South by South West festival in March. Danielle recalled the first show was "maybe a disaster", but the remainder of the shows attracted more attention.[10] The band subsequently signed a deal with Polydor Records in the UK in June.[17]

In July, independent record label National Anthem re-released the Forever EP on 10" vinyl, containing the original three songs along with a fourth track, a remix of "Forever" by Dan Lissvik.[18] Following dates supporting Mumford & Sons on their "Gentlemen of the Road" tour in the US in August, [19][20] Haim toured the UK for the first time in November 2012[21] and then supported Florence and the Machine on their UK and Ireland tour in December.[22][23]

The British music magazine New Musical Express made the title track of the Forever EP its #4 track of 2012.[24] On January 4, 2013 the BBC announced that Haim had topped their annual Sound of 2013 music industry poll to find the most promising new musical acts for the coming year.[25] The group also signed a management contract with the conglomerate Roc Nation, returned to South by SouthWest in March 2013[26] and earned their own "At Your Request" video feature on Idolator.[27] In early 2013, they were featured on American recording artist Kid Cudi's third studio album Indicud, on the song titled "Red Eye".[28] Danielle Haim appeared on the first track, "You're No Good", from Major Lazer's second album, Free the Universe, alongside Santigold, Vybz Kartel and Yasmin.[29]

Days are Gone[edit]

Danielle Haim performing in Indio, California, April 2014

The group spent a year recording their first album, Days Are Gone in sessions between live shows. The group experimented with drum machines and the music program GarageBand, adding hip-hop and R&B influences to their existing sound.[7] Polydor recommended producers Ariel Rechtshaid and James Ford to help with the album, who suggested further use of synthesizers, bringing the album closer to a straighforward pop style.[30] Several of the drum tracks were recorded with gated reverb, made famous by Phil Collins.[31]

In June 2013, the group performed at the Glastonbury Festival, and in addition to their own set, the band appeared with Primal Scream performing background vocals on "It's Alright, It's OK", "Rocks" and "Come Together".[2] The band returned for a repeat performance at Glastonbury in 2014.[32]

Recording on Days Are Gone was completed in June. The single "The Wire" was released on July 29 and the album followed on 30 September.[33] The album reached number one in the UK and has since sold 200,000 copies there.[34][35]

To promote the album, the group performed "The Wire" on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, with Este dedicating the song to the British Prime Minister David Cameron, also a guest on the show.[36] The move was criticised as being ill-judged, with Johnny Marr saying "they made themselves look like idiots."[37] Haim subsequently toured Europe throughout the remainder of 2013, recruiting touring keyboardist Tommy King,[38] as well as performing as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on November 23 with host Josh Hutcherson. The group performed "The Wire" and "Don't Save Me" and Este considered this performance particularly poignant as a high school drama teacher had once told her "You're never going to be on Saturday Night Live."[39] The main US tour followed in April 2014 and continued into May.[40]

In 2014, Haim were awarded the NME "Best International Band" award.[41] In August, the band released the video for "My Song 5" in a remixed version, featuring rapper A$AP Ferg. This is the sixth single taken from Days Are Gone.[42] In October, the group recorded a cover of Fleetwood Mac's Rhiannon with Stevie Nicks.[43] As of October 2014, the group are recording their second album, having written a bulk of new material while on tour over the year.[42]

Musical style[edit]

Haim has been compared to the 1970s soft-rock version of Fleetwood Mac, though the group insist they are influenced by more recent musical tastes. The band are fans of 90s girl groups TLC and Destiny's Child, and of Kendrick Lamar, Jessie Ware and Mariah Carey. According to Metro, their music sounds like folk-rock "with a few R&B/hip-hop stylings thrown in for good measure".[44] The group are fans of, and have been influenced by Beyoncé, covering her song "XO" on BBC Radio 1's "Live Lounge",[35] and described "My Song 5" as "ripping off" Justin Timberlake.[7]

Este Haim at the Øyafestivalen, Oslo, Norway, August 2013

The group have rejected the "girl band" label, preferring to be respected as musicians on their individual merits. Alana stated, "When people call us a girl band, I take it as an insult – being a girl in a band shouldn’t be a thing.”[35] All three sisters are proficient on more than one instrument: Este plays both guitar and bass, Danielle plays guitar and drums, and Alana plays guitar, keyboards and percussion.[12] For live performances, Este plays bass, Danielle plays lead guitar and sings lead vocals, and Alana plays rhythm guitar along with keyboards and percussion. All three sisters contribute three part vocal harmony.[12][6]

The band's live sound is different to that in the studio. Writing for the NME, Hazel Sheffield said that Days Are Gone "may confuse those won over by their raw, rocking live shows."[30] Recordings demonstrate the group's vocal pop style, while the group play typical rock material such as Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well" in concert.[15] The group's background in wedding bands from their days as Rockinhaim has led them to cover many different songs live and for radio sessions, including Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball", Sheryl Crow's "Strong Enough" and the Strokes' "You Only Live Once".[45] Este acts as the group's MC onstage, announcing most of the songs,[15] and has developed a reputation for her blunt and coarse banter with the audience and her amusing facial expressions (the "bass face") while playing.[8]

Hutton has said that Este is his favourite bassist to play with. Though he declines to appear in press and publicity photos, he is nevertheless a full-time member of the band.[4]


Critical reaction to Haim has been positive. PopMatters' Matt James wrote "It'd be hard to truly dislike Haim. They're an eminently likeable, albeit slightly kooky, trio whose story already bears the frisson of legend."[46] Writing for The Guardian, Alexis Petridis praised the band's songwriting abilities, saying it "has a certain kind of glossily depthless pop perfection down pat".[31]

Haim's sound has been described as "nu-folk-meets-nineties-R&B"[5] and "music that sounds like it was written on a lakeside retreat attended by Stevie Nicks, John Waite and En Vogue".[8]

In her survey of pop music in 2013, Observer critic Kitty Empire praised the band for "using the vector of harmonies to splice R&B with 1970s soft rock. They laid waste, too, to a herd of ghastly old hobby horses about guitar bands being unmarketable and record sales only being tied to women's state of undress."[47]


Studio albums[edit]

TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positionsCertifications
Days Are Gone629718304321251
"—" denotes items which were not released in that country or failed to chart.

Extended plays[edit]

TitleEP details
  • Released: July 2, 2012[b]
  • Label: National Anthem
  • Formats: 10" vinyl
iTunes Festival: London 2012
  • Released: November 2, 2012
  • Label: Polydor
  • Formats: Digital download
iTunes Festival: London 2013
  • Released: October 8, 2013
  • Label: Polydor
  • Formats: Digital download


TitleYearPeak chart positionsCertificationsAlbum

"Forever"2012777524Days Are Gone
"Don't Save Me"66287032
"The Wire"1256261625
"If I Could Change Your Mind"2014113522742
"My Song 5"
"—" denotes a single that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Other charted songs[edit]

"Better Off"2013163Forever EP
"Let Me Go"125Days Are Gone

Guest appearances[edit]

TitleYearOther artist(s)Album
"LVL"[65]2013ASAP RockyLong. Live. ASAP
"Red Eye"[28]Kid CudiIndicud
"You're No Good"2013Major LazerFree The Universe
"Pray to God"2014Calvin HarrisMotion

Music videos[edit]

"Forever"[66]2012Austin Peters
"Don't Save Me"[67]
"Falling"[68]2013Tabitha Denholm
"The Wire"[69]Jonathan Lia
"If I Could Change Your Mind"[70]2014Warren Fu
"My Song 5"[71]Dugan O'Neal

Awards and nominations[edit]

2012MTVBrand New For 2013[72]Nominated
BBC Sound of 2013Sound of 2013[25]Won
2013NME AwardsBest Twitter (Alana Haim)[73]Won
2014BRIT AwardsInternational GroupNominated
NME AwardsBest Live BandNominated
Best Music Video ("Falling")Nominated
Best International Band[74]Won
Best Band Blog or Twitter (Alana Haim)Won
Best Fan CommunityNominated
Hero of the Year (Este Haim)Nominated
2014 World Music AwardsWorld's Best Song ("The Wire")Nominated
World's Best BandNominated
World's Best Album ("Days Are Gone")Nominated
World's Best Live ActNominated


  1. ^ According to the band, an English approximation of the original Hebrew, meaning "life", can be "high-im"[2]
  2. ^ Forever was originally released February 10, 2012 as a free download from the band's website
  1. ^ "Pronunciation Guide: HAIM Teach You How To Say Their Name". YouTube. November 21, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Lamont, Tom (22 September 2013). "Haim: 'Dad would be like, Let's go and jam in the living room". The Observer. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Jewish singers Haim tipped as Sound of 2013". The Jewish Chronicle. ]
  4. ^ a b c d e Dodero, Camille (30 September 2013). "Falling for Haim". Spin. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Campion, Freddie (February 28, 2012). "Band of the Week: HAIM". Vogue (New York City, USA: Condé Nast Publications). Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Lester, Paul (March 23, 2012). "New band of the day: Haim". The Guardian. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Weiner, Jonah (12 November 2013). "How Haim's Three Geeky Sisters Became the Year's Coolest New Band". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Wolfson, Sam (November 24, 2012). "Haim: 'Next time, why don't you come to Los Angeles?'". The Guide supplement in The Guardian (London, England: Guardian Media Group). Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Brown, Emma. "Discovery: HAIM". Interview. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f Smyth, David (April 27, 2012). "Soundcheck: Haim". Evening Standard (London, England: London Evening Standard Ltd). Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  11. ^ "So-Cal Teen Prodigies The Valli Girls Launch Pop-Rock Campaign". New York City, New York: Columbia Records. April 14, 2005. Retrieved January 11, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c d e Baylen, Ashley (November 7, 2012). "Exclusive Interview With the Girls of 'HAIM'". Shalom Life. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  13. ^ Lipman, Jennifer (January 4, 2015). "Jewish singers Haim tipped as Sound of 2013". The JC.com. Retrieved May 9, 2014. 
  14. ^ Egan, Barry (November 10, 2013). "Music: Haim – Sisters of super sounds". The Independent. Retrieved May 19, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b c d McCormick, Neil (30 September 2013). "Haim interview". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "Rock on". people.com. 
  17. ^ "Polydor UK Signs Haim". Music Week (London, England: Intent Media). June 19, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  18. ^ Cragg, Michael (June 7, 2012). "New music: Haim – Forever". The Guardian. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Mumford and Sons (official website)date=May 29, 2012". Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  20. ^ "The Maccabees, Gogol Bordello, Haim, St Vincent to play Mumford and Sons' US mini-festivals". NME (London, England: IPC Media). May 30, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Haim announce debut UK tour – ticket details". NME. August 29, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Florence & The Machine confirm O2 Dublin 2012 live concert date for Wednesday December 12th!". Music Scene. September 10, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  23. ^ Homewood, Ben (September 13, 2012). "Haim To Support Florence + The Machine". The Fly (London, England: MAMA Group Ltd). Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year for 2012". NME. December 2, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  25. ^ a b Youngs, Ian (January 4, 2013). "Haim top BBC Sound of 2013 list". BBC News. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  26. ^ "30 Must-See Acts at SXSW 2013". fuse.tv. February 2013. 
  27. ^ Adickman, Erika Brooks. "HAIM's "Don't Save Me": At Your Request". Idolator. Retrieved 14 March 2013. 
  28. ^ a b Weiss, Sam (2013-03-26). "Kid Cudi Unveils "Indicud" Album Art and Tracklist". Complex (Complex Media). Retrieved 2013-03-27. 
  29. ^ Jeffries, David. "Free The Universe". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  30. ^ a b Sheffield, Hazel (30 September 2013). "Haim – 'Days Are Gone'". New Musical Express. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  31. ^ a b Petridis, Alexis (26 September 2013). "Haim: Days Are Gone – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  32. ^ "Glastonbury 2014 – Haim". BBC Music. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  33. ^ "Haim – Days Are Gone". iTunes. 2013-08-05. Retrieved 2013-08-05. 
  34. ^ a b "United Kingdom Certified Awards – Haim". British Phonographic Industry. bpi.co.uk/certified-awards.  (To access, enter the search term "Haim".)
  35. ^ a b c McLean, Craig (30 March 2014). "Haim interview: 'Don't call us a girl band'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  36. ^ "Haim dedicate song to Prime Minister David Cameron as they meet on politics TV show". New Musical Express. 29 September 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  37. ^ Trendell, Andrew (18 December 2013). "Johnny Marr: 'Posing with David Cameron made Haim look like idiots'". Gigwise. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  38. ^ "Haim – Biography". Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  39. ^ Coleman, Miriam (24 November 2013). "Haim Rock 'The Wire' on 'SNL'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  40. ^ Rutherford, Kevin (19 November 2013). "Haim Announces 2014 tour dates". Billboard. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  41. ^ "NME Awards 2014 – Haim Accept Best International Band". New Musical Express. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  42. ^ a b Blistein, Jon (19 August 2014). "Haim and A$AP Ferg Air Their Secrets, 'Jerry Springer'-Style, in 'My Song 5' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  43. ^ "'Rhiannon' by Stevie Nicks and Haim". New York Times. 6 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  44. ^ Westbrook, Caroline. "Who are Haim? Top 10 facts about BBC Sound of 2013 winners". METRO. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  45. ^ Wickman, Forrest (26 September 2013). "Haim Is Pop’s Most Brilliant New Cover Band". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  46. ^ James, Matt (October 1, 2013). "Haim: Days Are Gone". PopMatters. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  47. ^ Empire, Kitty (December 22, 2013). "The best pop of 2013: Kitty Empire's choice". The Guardian. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  48. ^ "Billboard discography Haim". billboard.com. 
  49. ^ a b Peak positions in Australia:
  50. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Discografie Haim". Belgium (Flanders) Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  51. ^ Canadian Albums : Page 1 | Billboard
  52. ^ "Haim Denmark Charts". "Tracklisten". hitlisten.nu. Retrieved September 25, 2013. 
  53. ^ "Discography Haim". charts.de. 
  54. ^ a b Peak positions in Ireland:
  55. ^ Steffen Hung. "Haim – Days Are Gone". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  56. ^ "Haim New Zealand Charts". "Recorded Music NZ". nztop40.co.nz. Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  57. ^ "Haim Norway Charts". "VG-lista". lista.vg.no. Retrieved October 25, 2013. 
  58. ^ a b
  59. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Albums". ARIA. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  60. ^ "Billboard – US Rock". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 2013. 
  61. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2014 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. aria.com.au. 
  62. ^ "Australia Certified Awards – Haim". Australian Recording Industry Association. aria.com.au. 
  63. ^ "NZ Top 40 Singles Chart | The Official New Zealand Music Chart". Nztop40.co.nz. 2014-01-20. Retrieved 2014-07-30. 
  64. ^ Peak positions for the Other charted songs in the UK:
  65. ^ Diep, Eric (July 2, 2013). "INTERVIEW: HAIM SPEAK ON WORKING WITH KID CUDI AND A$AP ROCKY, THEIR DEBUT ALBUM, AND MAMA HAIM". Pigeons and Planes. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  66. ^ Haim "Forever" (Official Music Video). YouTube. youtube.com/. 2012-06-07
  67. ^ HAIM – Don't Save Me. YouTube. youtube.com/. 2012-11-26
  68. ^ HAIM – Falling. YouTube. youtube.com/. 2013-2-26
  69. ^ "HAIM – The Wire". IMVDb. 2013-08-12. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  70. ^ Haim – If I Could Change Your Mind. YouTube. youtube.com/. 2014-2-25
  71. ^ Haim – My Song 5 (remix)
  72. ^ "MTV's Brande New For 2013 Nominees announced". MTV. 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2013-01-14. 
  73. ^ "NME Awards 2013". NME.com. 2013-02-27. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  74. ^ "NME Awards 2014 with Austin, Texas – Full Winners Report". NME.com. 2014-02-26. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Michael Kiwanuka
Sound of...
Succeeded by
Sam Smith