Haim break down their summer 2017 album: 'You don’t even know what’s coming'
When Danielle, Este, and Alana Haim began work on the follow-up to 2013’s Days Are Gone, they regrouped in the family living room where they played music as kids. This was partly because they had nowhere else to go coming off of months on the road. “We were living out of suitcases,” says Danielle, 27, the group’s lead guitarist. But they also wanted to preserve their creative independence after a few marathon years that saw them sign with Jay Z’s Roc Nation management, tour stadiums with Taylor Swift, and dominate critics’ best-of lists with their fusion of classic rock, old-school R&B, and modern pop. “We decided we were going to do what we’ve always done,” Danielle says. “We wanted to get back to our so-called roots. We needed just it be the three of us in the beginning. We just wanted to get back in the zone.”
As a result, the sisters say their new album strips away some of the bells and whistles of their debut in favor of a more organic, live band feel. “I played a fretless five-string [bass], and I haven’t played a fretless five-string since I was a 12-year-old listening to Korn,” says Este, 30. The trio made extensive demos on GarageBand, taking each song as far as they could before bringing the material to a small circle of producers. Pop tastemaker Ariel Rechtshaid, who worked on the bulk of Days Are Gone, and ex-Vampire Weekend member Rostam Batmanglij are the album’s only outside collaborators. “There’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen anyway,” says multi-instrumentalist Alana, 25. “There are three perfectionists in our band, and to add any more people would be too much of a party.”
Those perfectionist tendencies are to blame for the album’s shifting arrival date. Originally, the group had hoped to release the album this past fall, but they’re now looking at a summer release. “We write everything, we play everything, and we help produce everything,” Danielle says. “These things take time, and we refuse to put out anything we’re not 100 percent in love with.” But the band is eager to share the music as soon as possible—they already road-tested two new songs, the hooky call-and-response tune “Nothing’s Wrong” and the twinkling “Little of Your Love,” at festival dates this summer. “To get to Days Are Gone, it took us seven years,” Alana says. “We’re super excited for the next chapter, to just tour our hearts out and really hit the ground running in 2017.” Adds Este: “You don’t even know what’s coming for you. I’m warning you. You. Don’t. Even. Know.”