Earlier this year, when Haim were working on their debut album, , they brought in their pal Benmont Tench of the Heartbreakers to play organ on a track; they also booked a songwriting session with Sia, one of the world's most in-demand hitmakers, with credits on smash singles by Rihanna and Flo-Rida.Haim deemed the resulting jam too pop, at which point Shakira's people put a six-month hold on the track.But for all the ways that Haim seem like consummate insiders, they say that this is hardly the case."When we started playing, we were Valley kids – we'd never gone over the hill," Alana says.
"Bands like Mumford & Sons or fun., they're cool," he says, "but where's the ferocity, you know?Roughly 40 percent of the canvas is taken up by the sisters' cascading tresses; Este's right hand is freakishly large.Alana looks a little closer at her likeness and points at its chin. Nice of them to keep that in."Haim have been a staple of the local indie-music circuit for years, sharing bills with California rockers like Jenny Lewis and Dawes; opening for Florence and the Machine and Mumford; collaborating with Major Lazer, Kid Cudi and Childish Gambino.Around this time, Danielle began dating a local musician named Blake Mills, who played with Dawes, toured with Lewis, and today collaborates closely with Fiona Apple.Julian Casablancas came to a Lewis show and wound up hiring her for his touring band. Finally, Casablancas gave the sisters some advice: Stop gigging so much, write some stronger songs and make a great recording, since these days people encounter new music online.