Haim were huddled on a tabletop in Tennessee, sunnies nestled in “Love Story”-style, air-dried locks, when the topic of band names came up. The San Fernando Valley, California-bred trio were explaining how they were of the “super boring,” no-energy species of girl group, and they’d come up with a handle to advertise those killjoy tendencies.
“We were gonna call our band Wet Blanket, so it really covers all bases — you really know what we’re about,” bassist Este joked.
Of course, soulful sisters Alana, 21, Danielle, 24, and Este, 27, are very much in-demand and anything but low-energy, as vets of the multi-instrumentalists’ live shows will testify. And when MTV News caught up with them at last month’s Bonnaroo in Manchester, the girls were in full festival-circuit mode. In fact, they copped to jumping off a scheduled run of “utter chaos” opening gigs for Rihanna so they could make their Governors Ball date.
“We did bring her a pink bottle of champagne,” Este said of the Bajan Badgal. “We kept it classy!” youngest sis/keyboard player Alana chimed in as soft-spoken Danielle nodded and laughed.
With pubs from Teen Vogue to Fader having spilled ink about their dreamy Forever EP, Haim were poised to get back on the road again with their fellow Roc Nation management signee. They would join her again for the early-July, European leg of her Unapologetic Tour. You know, just killing time with a multiplatinum star while studio geeks put the polish to their now-complete debut album, which is due by summer’s end.
“We’re touring while [the album is] getting mixed and then, hopefully, when it comes out people will enjoy it,” Este added of the threesome’s packed schedule of shows.
For late adopters, imagine Fleetwood Mac-eraStevie Nicks hitting the studio with your favorite ’90s girl group, and you get an idea of why the group’s sound has proved enchanting to so many. Lead vocalist Danielle, who has waxed rhapsodic about rhythm and blues influences from Destiny’s Child to R. Kelly, is the driving force on emotionally charged tracks like “Send Me Down” and “Don’t Save Me.” And lush harmonies help round out Haim’s singular brand of sun-drenched, indie pop&B.
Now, with their first major-label LP due to “Uncle Jay,” the verified It-Girls say they feel the weight of expectations, but it’s NBD.
“I think we put enough pressure on ourselves,” Este said firmly. “I think we just wanted … to make the best thing possible, that was the goal, was just to make sure that we were 150 percent in love with what we made. And that’s why I think it’s taking time.
“We had a lot of fun making it,” she added, “so I hope that comes through when people hear it.”