Artist to Know: HAIM

Love music but need more artists to follow? Check out the previous installments of Artist to Know featuring Lizzo, Katy Tiz, Lake Street Dive, Mighty Oaks, and First Aid Kit.

Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim collectively make up the American pop/indie rock band HAIM (pronounced “high-em” after the Hebrew word for “life”), and their music is fantastic. The sisters grew up playing music, and with their parents Moti and Donna, formed the cover band Rockinhaim. In 2007, the three sisters formed HAIM but didn’t become a full-time band until 2012 after Danielle returned from touring with Jenny Lewis and Julian Casablancas.

All three sisters sing and play various other instruments; Este plays bass, Danielle plays guitar, and Alana plays guitar and the keyboard. The three of them have collectively rejected the label of “girl band” with the explanation that often, calling a group of musicians a “girl band” comes with negative connotations, and they’d rather just be musicians of their own merits. Apparently, other artists have found their merits impressive; HAIM has toured with Florence and the Machine, Vampire Weekend, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, the Killers, and Kings of Leon, among other groups.

If you’re just getting into the group, I’d recommend listening first to “The Wire,” an upbeat breakup bop (yes, that’s contradictory, but it’s so catchy and it just feels like a pump-up jam).

Also, live versions of this are awesome. They just look like they’re having an absolute blast, and Este’s facial expressions (she’s the blondest of the trio) are great.

“Kept Me Crying” mourns the loss of love; the singer talks about the decline from being someone’s lover and friend to “just someone you call/ When it’s late enough to forget.” There are so many feels in this, and I think a lot of college student who’ve experienced hookup culture can relate to it.

“Little of Your Love” is, as one might expect, a love song, but one that asks another person to be willing to try to love again after recovering from a broken heart. It has a definite 1950’s rock vibe, as was intended by the sisters, which they explained during an interview with Pitchfork magazine; the song is their interpretation of the 1950’s rock vibe but in 2017 (when the song was released).

“Want You Back,” as with the song of the same name by The Jackson 5, begs an ex-lover to come back and promises to show more love than before. Plus, the music video shows exactly what I look like when I listen to the song: playing all of the air instruments.