HAIM sisters Days Are Gone engulfs influences (biography)

The fraternal bond is more often played out in pop music than the musical sorority.  Not that they're altogether absent.  HAIM (rhymes with rhyme) it turns out are 3 sisters: eldest Este, middle Danielle, youngest Alana. Their major label debut Days Are Gone scoops up, engulfs and eclipses the influences worn brashly on their sleeves.   The album, which has only been out since Sept. 30, is impossibly good and the sense that the girls came out of nowhere understandable. 

Their debut Forever EP topped out the BBC's Sound of 2013 music industry poll for promising new acts, coinciding with and leading to a who's who of support slots: Florence and the Machine, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, Ke$ha and Mumford & Sons (not together).  In the same period they've collaborated with Major Lazer, Kid Cudi and live, backing Primal Scream at Glastonbury. 

The album is indomitably hooky.  For lack of a better distillation it's 80's style songwriting through the lens of 90's R&B production (in particular girl groups like TLC and Destiny's Child with whom the sisters directly identify).  It's the same terroir that Solange Knowles is treading but with songwriting chops more on par with her sister.  On the matter of their chops- which are considerable- their upbringing is illustrative.  Once in a family band Rockinhaim fronted by father Mordechai, Este and Danielle then toured with the Valli Girls ( "inspired by Pat Benatar, Blondie, Gwen Stefani, The Pretenders and Queen")  whose epitaph was a single 'Valli Girls' that got on some Nickelodeon shit. 

Days Are Gone seems to play through refracting each listener's reference points.  There's a Joni-ish thing at times, some say it sounds very Kate Bush, overall the enterprise is painted with the kind of bucolic, lovestruck and unabashed grace that was the hallmark of so many 80's anthems.  Silver linings without a touch of grey.

Honey & I  from Days Are Gone is one of their more lasting songs.  It's got that Joni thing too or whatever you want to call it. The original is a whip sharp piece of production, which acoustic (here on a Daytrotter session) lends to a more plaintive quality.  On record the opening chord progression effectively samples Pete Townshend's Let My Love Open The Door, which they borrow from liberally in the overal melodic conceit and mood.