Haim Trace Their Success from Their Childhood Roots in This Made in a Minute
Most of us will never know how much we've learned from our parents until we're standing in the middle of a dirty apartment, a million unheard reminders to do our chores suddenly ringing through our ears. It's a little easier for pop trio Haim, who follow in the vein of the Jackson 5, the Williams sisters, and every other precocious group of siblings pushed toward success by their parents.
Este, Danielle, and Alana's musical upbringing seems to have been a more subtle process than however Joe Jackson managed to wring "I Want You Back" out of a group of pre-teens. Instead, the Haim sisters were introduced to their parents' tastes in music from an early age, inspiring their fluid take on pop music. "We were in a band with my parents. I think we started practicing when I was around four or five. We always played covers of really cool songs like Santana and Billy Joel," says Alana Haim with nary a trace of insincerity. "We didn't pick the songs, our parents did. Growing up, my parents listened to a bunch of different kinds of music. My dad was obsessed with Latin and funk. Disco. My mom also loved Joni Mitchell." That polyglot feel for genre is reflected in Haim's music, which melds several eras of FM radio into one effortless dance party.
Their dad took an even more direct approach toward guiding Haim's future form. "One of the first songs I learned how to play was [Van Morrison's] 'Brown-Eyed Girl,'" says Danielle. "I remember it being kind of difficult to have that bass line. I think my dad was like, 'You should play it on guitar, too' and I was like, 'Daaaad...'" (Danielle plays guitar, of course.) Even then, their roles were apparent, as bassist Esme reveals that she nailed the tricky progression.
Because Haim have been playing so long in such an unofficial context, their prodigious ride from buzz band to festival mainstay still seems like a developing process. "We definitely don't think that we've made it," says Alana. "If you think that you've made it I feel like you're already done. Like, it's just your time to biggity-bounce." They've still got to get Mom and Dad on a single, for starters.