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The 11 best HAIM songs

Why have a Top 10 when you can have one more? This week we rank the best from the fun-loving Haim sisters

Danielle, Este and Alana Haim were an immediate hit when they took their special sisterly dynamic from the home to the stage in early 2012, showing the world their multi-instrumental flair, classic rock pop riffs and coordinated dances they’d no doubt worked on since childhood. But a decade on and their cross-cultural appeal only deepens as the trio expand their sound and branch further into the worlds of fashion and cinema.

As they head on a UK-wide tour visiting the likes of Manchester, Nottingham and London this week, we attempt to rank 11 of their best, bass-face inducing tracks.

11. Nothing’s Wrong

(Something To Tell You, 2017)

This track from the band’s second full-length Something To Tell You kicks off with pure 80s power ballad indulgence and we’re all for it. Live, Danielle gives it some on the guitar before dropping into the dry ice melodrama of its ‘Counting the hours’ opening line. It’s a cracking example of the sisters’ love for getting into character to bring their music to life.

10. Summer Girl

(Women in Music Pt III, 2021)

A bonus track on their 2021 masterpiece Women In Music Pt III, ‘Summer Girl’ is steeped in sun-kissed sleepiness and an ode to Lou Reed’s ‘Walk On The Wild Side’ – he’s even credited as a songwriter. The floaty sax above that crisp drum line gives the track a jazzier feel than you’d previously expect from HAIM, but it works perfectly to help realise its contented feel.

9. 3AM

(Women in Music Pt III, 2021)

Another unexpected sonic turn from the band, the wobbly and wavy bass line at the heart of ‘3AM’ gives an approving nod to the sound of LA bass maestro Thundercat, so it’s no surprise he later joined the sisters on an alternate version of the track. Like the tempting late-night booty call it describes, the heady funk of ‘3AM’ keeps you coming back for more.

8. The Wire

(Days Are Gone, 2013)

One of their earliest classics, appearing way back on a 2012 Daytrotter session (if you know, you know), ‘The Wire’ was an entry point into the Haim family for many. With each sister taking turns on a verse before weaving into their punchy but harmonious chorus, there couldn’t have been a more fitting introduction.

7. Now I’m In It

(Women in Music Pt III, 2021)

It’s really a testament to the band when yet another bonus track makes their all-time top list. Included in the extended version of Women In Music, ‘Now I’m In It’ is driven by an ‘Eye Of The Tiger’-esque muted guitar line that helps create an immediate sense of suspense. A synth line soon doubles up on it and becomes the rhythmic driving force for one of the sister’s most emotive vocal performances.

6. Gasoline

(Women in Music Pt III, 2021)

Another one to get your lighter in the air, ‘Gasoline’ feels downhearted while keeping a solid groove thanks to Danielle’s slow breakbeat tripping over Alana’s guitar licks and Este’s wistful bass line. A later version with the smooth vocals of Taylor Swift gets the goosebumps going even more.

5. Don’t Save Me

(Days Are Gone, 2013)

One of HAIM’s pacier tracks that’s made it ripe for a dance remix or two, ‘Don’t Save Me’ was a staple in many a university town’s indie disco back in 2013. The spacing of the locked-in rhythm, the encompassing gossamer synths and the explosive catharsis of its chorus make this a permanent fixture in the HAIM canon.

4. The Steps

(Women in Music Pt III, 2021)

Though it arrived just as the band veered into more contemporary territory on Women, the classic rock sound of ‘The Steps’ sounds like HAIM as we first met them. According to Alana, the song was born impulsively from the screamed line “You don’t understand me!”, which goes some way to explain the song’s direct call for independence.

3. Falling

(Days Are Gone, 2013)

Perhaps one of HAIM’s most memorable hits, 80s pop excellency ‘Falling’ still hits the spot as it did on its release in 2013. The quickfire “Don’t stop no I’ll never give up” slaps as hard as Este’s bass, as if those husky ‘Ah!’s are an involuntary response to this feeling.

2. You Never Knew

(Something To Tell You, 2017)

Channelling the sparkle of a little Law And Order era Lindsey Buckingham, ‘You Never Knew’ from Something is simply one of the band’s most underrated numbers. A bittersweet window into the pressure touring puts on home relationships, the track was written alongside Blood Orange’s Dev Hynes, and his influence can be heard from the icy and nimble guitars in the background to the breathy vocal ad libs.

1. Don’t Wanna

(Women in Music Pt III, 2021)

Sure, if we had to stick one HAIM song in a time capsule to explain to future generations what these three fun-loving sisters we’re lucky to share an existence with sounded like, it might be ‘Falling’ or even ‘Forever’ (yes, even though the latter just missed out the cut here). But released during 2020’s first lockdown, the resilience of ‘Don’t Wanna’ felt particularly needed, and the delicious melody of its chorus made everything a little easier to swallow. In the spirit of resilience, for the song’s video the sisters made the most of their cancelled show at Los Angeles’ Forum by taking a now characteristic walk outside it. As with everything HAIM touch, keep watching until the end for some heart-warming laughs.

HAIM head out on a UK tour from 13-21 July, visiting the likes of Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester and London. Tickets are available here.