(Relatively) New on the Music Scene: Haim

By Rebecca MacKay

As seen in Pegasus Pages (Summer 2014)

I admit, I haven’t been a fan of Haim for long: I haven’t been following them from conception or anything, though, looking back, I probably should have been. In fact, when their new album first came onto British shelves I was utterly dismissive, believing it to be yet another hipster attempt at individuality from an all girl band once again attempting, but failing, to assert themselves into the music scene.

How wrong I was. This band actually succeeds where many before them have failed: they bring something new and different, something unlike anything we’ve heard in recent years – which is a welcome change.

The band in question is Haim (pronounced like ‘time’; weird, I know). The three sisters, Este (27), Danielle (24), and Alana (22) Haim, have risen from playing small gigs in Californian back bars to firmly putting their stamp on the music scene with their compulsive drumbeats and piercing guitar riffs, taking Britain by storm.

They are primarily drummers – a fact evident in their music with the deceptively simple beats that punch the song along and give it that modern twist. They successfully utilise Garage Band in ways I didn’t think were possible.

They’re not afraid to employ any and all instruments and don’t shy away from technology as many bands of their genre would.

Adding to the unique flavor of their songs comes Danielle’s lead vocals and addictive guitar riffs that permeate through each individual song. Her voice is breathy, strong, low and passionate, and,  backed by the differing tones of her sisters, they work in brilliant combination.

Having achieved an incredible amount already with their single ‘Forever EP’, released late last year, they were already a band to watch, but with the long awaited release of their debut album Haim have shot into the music world, headlining the iTunes Festival in September and embarking on their own tour for 2014.

Their debut album, Days are Gone, is phenomenal. Using their own background with classic rock, they take clear influence from ‘Fleetwood Mac’ (Check out their cover of ‘Oh Well’: it’s pretty darn good) and masterfully combine it with the current penchant for repetitive beats and sounds. What results is an awkward, experimental but totally refined lovechild comprised of something we of this generation have never heard before.

Now bear with me here because I know on paper that the mixture of ‘Fleetwood Mac’ and the latest rap tune doesn’t sound great. Try and think of it more as ‘Fleetwood Mac’ with the genius of Gaga and a lot of youthful flare.

Okay, so that doesn’t sound much better but the point still stands: they’re indefinable because they themselves are still experimenting. Track 3 (‘The Wire’: definitely one to listen to.) is a completely different kettle of fish from Track 8 (named ‘My Song 5’; for those who use Garage band, this is hilarious) and yet the album still manages to be cohesive. I don’t feel I’m listening to 11 different songs from 11 different artists, more that I’m listening to the same band that isn’t afraid to twist what they know and love: to experiment.

Having attempted to sing praises of this album (and I do hope I have done it justice) I urge you to listen to it. Honestly. And then go see them in concert because they are truly phenomenal on stage. I’m not one to usually listen to this kind of thing but after a chain of events involving Tumblr, a dog and a bass guitar, I’m so glad I found them.

So go and check them out.

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