Lau­rel Canyon meets r’n’b in the best new band in the world. Ever.

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - OPINION - Brian Boyd on mu­sic

AT THE SXSW mu­sic bash ear­lier this year, a fe­male mu­sic per­son was en­thu­si­as­ti­cally ex­press­ing her ad­mi­ra­tion for the band on stage. Very taken by how they looked and sounded, she an­nounced loudly: “That band is so sexy, you might as well bend me over the bar and take me now!” In­deed. Haim were the band in ques­tion: three sis­ters from the San Fer­nando Val­ley, mak­ing the sort of mu­sic you thought you’d never hear again. And see­ing as how you won’t be able to move over the next few weeks for the Best New Act 2013 polls and awards, I’ve de­cided to get in early and de­clare Haim the best new band in the world. Ever.

Haim (it rhymes with “time” not “shame”) are Danielle, Este and Alana Haim. They all sing, although Danielle is the main vo­cal­ist – and she sounds as good as a young Ste­vie Nicks. They write their own ma­te­rial and can really play. For ev­i­dence of the lat­ter take a look at their cover of Fleet­wood Mac’s Oh Well on YouTube.

What dis­tin­guishes Haim from the pack is how quickly they’ve found their own sound. To date they’ve only had a few sin­gles out, but af­ter sign­ing with a ma­jor la­bel a few months ago the de­but al­bum will be good to go in Fe­bru­ary or March. By com­bin­ing a retro Lau­rel Canyon sound with con­tem­po­rary r’n’b, Haim will be the fresh­est thing you’ll hear next year.

They also have a Louis Th­er­ouxstyle “weird” back­ground story. Their mother won an Amer­ica’s Got Tal­ent- style show when they were in their early teens and gave up her es­tate agency job to bring the fam­ily on the road as a full­time band called Rock­in­haim.

By all ac­counts it was all very Par­tridge Fam­ily. Rock­in­haim trav­elled around Cal­i­for­nia play­ing cover ver­sions of the likes of Billy Joel and San­tana. “It was good fun but very dorky be­ing in a band with your par­ents,” they re­call. But once the sis­ters be­came ac­com­plished mu­si­cians and be­gan writ­ing their own ma­te­rial, they de­cided to kick mom and dad out of the band and call them­selves Haim.

The sibs grew up in a house­hold full of Bea­tles and Stones mu­sic, but they were al­ways a lot more into the likes of Des­tiny’s Child, TLC, Brandy and Mon­ica. All those in­flu­ences seep into their songs. As they say: “We still have the struc­ture of old-school rock but the r’n’b adds the spice.”

The Haim sound will keep both day­time ra­dio and in­die fun­da­men­tal­ists on board. They really do have it all, and you will see their name on all the up­com­ing “Next Big Thing” lists – but they have to avoid the Mona syn­drome.

Mona, if you re­mem­ber, were the lat­est, great­est saviours of gui­tar mu­sic a cou­ple of years ago, with al­most ev­ery­one hy­per­ven­ti­lat­ing about their po­ten­tial. They sim­ply couldn’t de­liver on all the hype. With Haim get­ting the same sort of at­ten­tion, you can only hope they ride out the oblig­a­tory back­lash, tour their al­bum and be given space to breathe.

You can get in early with Haim when they play Dublin’s O on De­cem­ber 12th as open­ers for Florence + the Ma­chine. bboyd@irish­times.com

Mak­ing a Haim of it –‘the sort of mu­sic you thought you’d never hear again’

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