Some people would be traumatized by a childhood spent playing in a band with their parents, but not the three Haim sisters, who turned it into job experience. After the Los Angeles trio stopped touring with their family band Rockinghaim, they went on to get music degrees (at least, that’s what eldest sister Este did) and play with Jenny Lewis, Julian Casablancas, and Cee Lo Green (as was the case with middle child Danielle), before deciding that if they were going to be in bands, they might as well be in one together. And so they started one—Haim.
“After writing a couple songs together, we wanted to play them out for people,” explains Este of the turning point for the group, when they went public. Since then, the band has quickly picked up followers, in part because, as Alana (the youngest of the trio at 19) noted, they could best be described as “three sisters that want to make you cut a rug.” The music picks and chooses influences—from ‘60s girl groups to ‘70s classic rock to ‘80s pop to ‘90s R&B—creating a patchwork quilt of sound that poignantly addresses heartbreak and uncertain relationships. “My favorite songs come out organically when I’m doing something else, like driving or taking a shower. I’ll usually get a melodic idea with one lyric and move from there,” says Danielle, adding, “But that only comes a couple of times a year, so the rest of the time I’m trying to coax something out; sitting down every day and trying to start something. Some days are better than others…but it’s work that I like doing.”
You can hear it all on their debut EP, Forever, which the Haim sisters decided to make available as a free download on their website. It may be unusual for an up-and-coming band to make their music readily available, but one that the band thinks will pay off in the end. “We just want as many people to listen to it as possible,” says Este. “We’ve been recording for four years and nothing sounded how we wanted it to [be], sonically. This is the first time we’re proud of what we did in the studio, and we want to share it!”