L’cHAIM: Introduucing…HAIM!

by Bradley Stern


Alright, so: I’ve been feeling this band for a while now, but I haven’t gotten around to doing a formal “Introduucing…” post because I’m too busy being the absolute worst. Time to change that.

HAIM is a LA Valley-bred Jewish sister act, consisting of Este Haim, Danielle Haim, Alana Haim and drummer Dash Hutton, which sort of sounds like I’m reading off the names from my graduating class at Brandeis.

Though the group’s been getting Fleetwood Mac comparisons ever since their debut (which are entirely accurate), HAIM also brings in a distinctly rhythmic twist to their tunes, resulting in a unique blend of early ’90’s R&B-meets-classic rock brilliance. And given the R&B/nu-soul revivalism coming out from acts like Jessie Ware and Solange lately, it’s the perfect time for HAIM to make their move.

They’ve gone on tour with Florence + The Machine, Mumford and Sons, and most recently, they’ve won a spot on the BBC’s prestigious, almost-always-indicative-of-amazingness Sound of 2013, meaning the pressure to deliver is on in a big way. Lucky for HAIM, they’re only getting better.

HAIM’s already released a handful of songs, including their debut “Forever” off of 2012’s Forever EP, as well as the st-stuttering, brilliant rock’n’roll anthem, “Don’t Save Me.” (Video above.)

This week, the troupe’s released their new single: “Falling,” produced by one of my very favorites of the moment, Ariel Rechtshaid. (He’s the same genius who helped craft Sky Ferreira‘s “Everything Is Embarrassing” and “Lost In my Bedroom,” Charli XCX‘s “Stay Away” and Usher‘s “Climax,” among other faves.)

“Don’t stop, no, I’ll never give up /And I’ll never look back, just hold your head up/And if it gets rough, it’s time to get rough,” the girls call out in unison. It’s all one mesmerizing, genre-blurring swirl of warm beats, disco bass plucks, crashing drums and almighty, echoing vocals. There’s something very magical buried in the sun-soaked production, and slightly melancholy at the same time–not unlike last year’s big obsession, Frank + Derol.

The nice thing about HAIM is that they’re making “real” music (in the Pitchforkian/Legendtina sense, in that they are multiple instrument-playing, songwriting musicians who grew up in a musical home, surrounded by all things music.) At the same time, they’re putting out music that’s highly listenable and highly singalong-able with strong hooks and catchy beats–making HAIM digestible for fans of pretention-free pop and “authentic” enough to keep the snobs at bay.

Bottom line: I love HAIM. I’d say I’m going absolutely H.A.M. for HAIM at the moment, but that wouldn’t be very kosher.

“Falling” was released on February 12. (iTunes)

  • yeasty

    You really don’t like P4K, do you? Well, I can’t say I blame you. Thanks for this great little write-up, I have been meaning to get into HAIM for a while now but I haven’t taken the time to sit the fuck down and really immerse myself in their music.

  • http://www.muumuse.com Bradley Stern

    It’s not so much that I dislike Pitchfork itself (the writing–especially in recent years–has been excellent), but the attitude that it so often breeds. It’s the idea that one can’t simply enjoy a pop song without bemoaning the use of Auto-Tune/the death of ‘real music’, or trashing musicians for being too “commercial.” (Heaven forbid they make a living!)

  • yeasty

    I know what you mean and I agree but I think they’ve improved vastly recently. They have been promoting Charli XCX, Sky Ferreira and Solange and they’re going crazy about the new JT stuff. But yeah, they often ignore the ‘fun’ aspect of pop music and get all anal about authenticity, completely missing the point… which is why I love your blog so much (and ever since I found it, I have distanced myself from the ‘cool kids’ and embraced my inner pop bitch, so thanks)

  • http://twitter.com/psantos25 Paul Santos

    finally a blogger is realizing their greatness! if you have a chance to see them live, hop on that chance.

  • The west

    I have had the song “Falling” stuck in my head for a week now and didn’t know who it was. Thank you :)