They dream of singing in Israel, crave their mother’s kugel while on tour and love Barbra Streisand — and they are being tipped to dominate the 2013 music industry.
Last week Californian Jewish singers Danielle, Este and Alana Haim were overjoyed to learn that they had topped the BBC’s prestigious annual Sound of poll.
Together the sisters make up Haim, a soft rock band that has already opened for Mumford & Sons and Florence and the Machine.
The Haim sisters, whose father Mordechai is Israeli, are aged between 21 and 26 but have been making music for more than a decade. Their first taste of the spotlight was in a family band called “Rockinhaim”, singing covers with their parents.
For their first ever show as a family they played at a Jewish deli in Hollywood and were paid in matzah ball soup. As fans of heimishe cuisine – “our mother makes the best sweet kugel. We also love making latkes all year round” — they didn’t mind.
Past winners of the Sound of poll have included Jessie J and Adele, and Haim said they were “honoured to be included on a list with so many talented people.
“It was the biggest surprise,” they said. “We just want to make the best record we can next, which we’re in the process of doing”.
The sisters, who at one time considered calling themselves “The Bagel Bitches”, said that their band name sometimes leaves reporters stumped, with most people saying it to rhyme with the word “fame”, as the Lost Boys actor Corey Haim pronounced his surname. “We don’t mind though, we are all big fans of the film,” they said. In fact the family pronounces the name in full Hebrew fashion — “chaim.”
Their music has been compared to Fleetwood Mac, but Haim also confess to being huge fans of Barbra Streisand and loving “everything she’s ever done”.
Since winning the BBC poll, hits on the YouTube videos for their songs Forever and Don’t Save Me have skyrocketed. Their next task is to record their debut album, which is due for release later this year, and keep playing live. One place they would like to perform is their father’s birthplace.
“We’ve visited,” the sisters said. “It would be a dream come true to perform in Israel. We’ll get there one day!”