The English Songstress Singles Out This SoCal Sister Trio as Next Year's Act to Watch
After winning over the music industry and the press during SXSW in April this year, the California-based sisters who comprise Haim seem poised for greatness with the release of their debut record in the spring—and Florence Welch has predicted the band’s rise. “It’s the perfect time for a girl band to be storming Britain,” enthuses the famed singer and songwriter, who had the band open for her UK tour this month. “They are not only the best people I have met in ages, but also have the best hair, the best pop tunes and definitely the best bass face!” Este, Danielle and Alana Haim grew up in the San Fernando Valley playing with their parents in a cover band called Rockinhaim and listening to everything from 70s rock to 90s pop and R&B. Their current musical incarnation was formed after Este graduated from UCLA in 2010 and Danielle took a hiatus from touring with musicians such as Jenny Lewis and Julian Casablancas. Haim have since played with artists including Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Ke$ha and Mumford & Sons. For today’s photographs were shot by producer Laura Coulson when the band headed to Joshua Tree with filmmaker Tabitha Denholm to shoot a video set to premiere on NOWNESS in just a few months.
The English Songstress Performs a Tale of American Heartbreak in Vincent Haycock's New Video
A relationship falls apart in the desert towns and fog-soaked coast of California as the baroque pop chanteuse and Karl Lagerfeld and Gucci muse Florence Welch takes on a cinematic role in this second collaboration with LA-based director Vincent Haycock. After helming the narrative music video for Welch’s Calvin Harris-produced disco hit “Sweet Nothing”, Haycock wanted to further explore singer’s interest in acting in his film for “Lover to Lover”, the latest single from her hit sophomore album Ceremonials. “She wasn’t just Florence, she was playing a character,” he says. “It was exciting to take someone who’s built such an iconic visual style, with the floaty dresses and distinct look of her videos, and do something really different.” Performing opposite Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn, who stars alongside Brad Pitt in the forthcoming flick, Killing Them Softly, Welch's on-screen interpretation echoes the track’s heart-aching refrain, “There’s no salvation for me now.” Beginning in a drab Los Angeles house and building to a cathartic gospel frenzy, the romance ends as the lovesick heroine disappears amid mist into the Pacific Ocean. “The waves were enormous, it was freezing cold and four in the morning—I was weeping all the way in I was so scared,” recounts the MTV Award-winning singer, laughing. “It was the most intense experience because we shot the whole day before; I went back to the hotel, slept for three hours, woke up and dove into the sea.”
How did the concept for this character come about?
I was going through a phase where I was thinking about what I wanted from life, asking, do I want a husband and a child? Why do I think I need that?
What was it like to film such intense scenes with a proper actor like Ben Mendelsohn?
It was an emotional day and it brought up a lot of things. I’d come to the end of this massive tour and just needed to go home. I was tired and disoriented because Southern California doesn't have seasons--everything's getting cold back home and the leaves are falling but in LA everything’s in this stasis. I think I was screaming, “This isn’t real, I don’t know what’s going on!" and Ben was screaming back, “You’re here, you’re here!”
Did you have a script?
It was completely improvised. I had to think about things that I was actually angry and upset about. It is cathartic, but you have to literally let yourself go. Ben is so sweet and accommodating--afterwards he gave me this massive hug and made me feel so comfortable.
Do you plan to take some time off now?
I’m not going to tour for a year after this one. I’ve been doing it since I was 21 and I think it’s time really to settle into moving out of my mum's! But I’m not going to stop writing. Playing live is my biggest passion, but I’ve got a lot of ideas, and I need the space to work on them.
An Invite to the Fashion Designer’s Mini-Festival Shindig
Best record store
Pegasus Records has been around for about 30 years and they have a great selection of local Muscle Shoals music. They also buy and trade, which doesn't happen that much anymore.
Trowbridge's is the old-school local luncheonette in town. They serve really simple, delicious sandwiches and homemade ice cream. I always order the pimento cheese and a "babysitter." It's not listed on the menu but it is a local favorite: hot dogs, chili and mustard on white bread toast.
Ye Olde General Store is a great shop that carries deadstock and new workwear. You can always find great items from Carhartt, Pointer and Duck Head. Gordon, the owner, is really helpful and kind.
I try to get to the Florence-Lauderdale County Farmers' Market, The Tomato House and Spring Park Market on Thursday evenings, and Jack-O-Lantern Farms in Muscle Shoals. These are all locally grown fruit and vegetables markets in the area that have a great produce and homemade treats like pickled okra and sauces.
Southern Accents Architectural Antiques has an incredible selection. My wife and I love to shop for antiques and they have everything from bath fixtures, windows, knobs, and everything else you could think of to fill, or build, your home.
A little is just enough... too much is dreadful. It can be very potent, especially hidden in punch or eggnog!