#9 – Haim – Days Are Gone
Trust me, Haim isn’t as cool as you think. Well, they are cool, but in the way that Lawrence “Mr. Cool” from School of Rock is cool… Not the way that smoking makes you ‘cool’. The three very talented sisters from San Fernando Valley were raised on music, played in a cover band with their parents. After that, two (Danielle and Este) were in the all-girl group, The Valli Girls, featured on The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’ soundtrack. As that project ended, all three sister (Alana being the third) formed Haim, only playing local venues. Este went to UCLA for a degree in ethnomusicology. Danielle, out of high school, played drums for a band opening for Jenny Lewis on her tour, which led to her playing guitar for Jenny Lewis on tour, which led to her backing Julian Casablancas on his tour. Eventually, Danielle toured with Cee-Lo as a member of his all-female backing band, Scarlet Fever, as well.
After Este graduated, the sisters decided to take Haim more seriously. From there the trio toured with acts ranging from Mumford and Sons to Ke$ha. Yeah, they aren’t as wet-nosed as the marketing department at Columbia Records might want you to believe. But, that doesn’t make their debut album any less infectious or delightful.
It’s hard to dislike them. While they aren’t achieving some form of ‘high-art’ or revolutionizing the music industry, they’re enthusiastically paying homage to the Top 40s of decades past without sounding tacky. Days Are Gone is charming and fun, even if it comes from a band that was run through the Columbia Records mill. Enjoy it for what it is: simply great. -Rondeau
Other accolades: #4 on Spin, #8 on Stereogum, #10 on Paste, #11 on Consequence of Sound, #13 on Amazon, #25 on NME, #31 on Rolling Stone, #43 on MOJO