Most frequently compared to Fleetwood Mac, Haim's sound has been described as "nu-folk-meets-nineties-R&B" and "music that sounds like it was written on a lakeside retreat attended by Stevie Nicks, John Waite and En Vogue". The band has not yet released a full album, but they played at the 2013 Glastonbury festival, they earned a top ranking in BBC's Sound of 2013 poll, and signed with Jay-Z's Roc Nation management group.
2005: Career beginnings
The three girls grew up in the San Fernando Valley, listening to the 1970s classic rock and Americana records of their music-loving parents. While they were still at school their parents formed a family band called Rockinhaim to play cover versions at local charity fairs, with Israeli-born father Mordechai ("Moti") on drums and mother Donna on guitar. Danielle and Este were members of the Valli Girls, an all-girl group "inspired by Pat Benatar, Blondie, Gwen Stefani, The Pretenders, and Queen" from Southern California that was signed to Columbia Records / Sony Records and had a notable appearance on 2005 tween film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants' soundtrack. Their song "Valli Nation" by the "SoCal teen prodigies" appears on the 2005 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards soundtrack "alongside such pop superstars as Avril Lavigne, Alicia Keys, Simple Plan, (and) Good Charlotte."
Haim has been compared to 70s soft-rock legends Fleetwood Mac, however, they like to insist that their influences are a bit more up-to-date, revealing they are big fans of 90s girl groups TLC and Destiny's Child, but also claim to be fans of Kendrick Lamar, Jessie Ware and Azealia Banks. Consequently their music sounds a bit like folk-rock with a few R&B/hip-hop stylings thrown in for good measure.
As they grew older, the girls became more interested in incorporating pop and contemporary R&B into their music. In 2006 they decided to form their own band. For the next 5 years Haim played local venues, but did not take things further 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. Upon graduating from high school Danielle was asked to play drums for the opening act on one of Jenny Lewis's tours, which led to Lewis asking Danielle to be her guitarist on the following tour. The Strokes' singer Julian Casablancas came to see one of Lewis's shows on that tour, and he in turn asked Danielle to play guitar and percussion on his own solo tour. She has also toured as part of Scarlet Fever, the all-female backing band for Cee-Lo Green. It was after Danielle had played with other artists and Este had graduated that the sisters decided that they wanted pursue their career as Haim more seriously. Youngest sister Alana spent one year in college before dropping out to join the band with her sisters.
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. On record and live Este plays bass, Danielle plays lead guitar and sings lead vocals, and Alana plays rhythm guitar along with keyboards and percussion. At gigs Este has developed a reputation for her blunt and coarse banter with the crowd, often to her sisters' embarrassment.
2012–present: Breakthrough, record deal and ''Days Are Gone''
Having played shows supporting artists such as Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, The Henry Clay People and Ke$ha, Haim's first release was a three song EP titled Forever which was made available on February 10, 2012 as a free download on their website for a brief period. The EP received a lot of attention from the music press and the general public, and following a successful gig at the South by South West festival in March 2012 Haim signed a deal with Polydor Records in the UK in June 2012. In July 2012 independent record label National Anthem released the Forever EP on 10" vinyl, containing the original three songs along with a fourth track, a remix of "Forever" by Dan Lissvik. Following dates supporting Mumford & Sons on their "Gentlemen of the Road" tour in the US in August 2012 Haim made their debut tour of the UK in November 2012 and then supported Florence and the Machine on their UK and Ireland tour in December 2012. On October 16, 2012 Zane Lowe of BBC Radio 1 debuted their follow-up single "Don't Save Me" on his radio show. The single's B-side was "Send Me Down", differing from their previous releases in having a notably more hip hop musical style, with glossy vocal harmonies on top. Their debut album is scheduled for release in 2013.
The British music magazine NME made the title track of the Forever EP its #4 track of 2012. 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. They are now managed by ROC NATION. In March 2013, Haim was named one of Fuse TV's 30 must-see artists at SXSW and earned their own "At Your Request" video feature on Idolator. There is also a Duke Dumont remix of their song "Falling". In early 2013, they were featured on American recording artist Kid Cudi's third studio album Indicud, on the song titled "Red Eye". Danielle Haim appeared in the first track, "You're No Good", from Major Lazer's second album, "Free the Universe", alongside Santigold, Vybz Kartel and Yasmin.
In Glastonbury Festival 2013, they appeared playing the background vocals of It's Alright, It's OK, Rocks and Come Together in Primal Scream's live concert.
In June 2013 they finished their album, called "Days Are Gone", which will be available on 27 September.
On July 29, the band presented its new single The Wire, which will be released on September 23.