Este Haim

Austin City Limits Music Festival is a visual feast. College students walk around Zilker Park in cutoffs and bikini tops, the Austin skyline stands out against the violet sunset in the evenings and headlining artists sport some outrageous hair styles. The Daily Texan compiled a list of our favorite hair donned by singers and songwriters that you should be on the look out for this weekend.  


The middle part is hard to pull off for anyone. For HAIM, it is even more impressive as all three sisters part their long locks right down the middle. The look fits the ‘90s rock-influenced sounds created by Alana, Este and Danielle Haim, plus their drummer Dash Hutton. Maybe the group will influence your own festival fashions. Just check with an honest friend before trying the middle part for yourself. 

The Cure 

The men of The Cure may have aged, but their hair is just as lively as ever. The Cure’s hairstyle of choice is not quite an afro and not quite a mohawk. It looks like something that is probably achieved by the band sticking their fingers in electric sockets and hair-spraying it into place right before they take the stage. Beauty is pain. But don’t worry about The Cure because according to them, boys don’t cry.


Grimes’ setlist is not the only unpredictable factor at the Canadian electronic artist’s live performances. There is no telling what color Claire Boucher’s hair will be when she performs at this year’s ACL festival. It’s possible it could even change between weekends. She is like the real-life version of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” character Clementine Kruczynski, whose trademark move is constantly dying her hair different vivid colors. Boucher’s hair has been orange, green, blue, pink, dark brown, platinum blonde and rainbow streaked. 


It would be unfair to say the members of fun. are entirely to blame for the awful hipster haircut trend of shaven sides with a tall, fluffy top. But they definitely are not helping. This hairstyle looks like the army regulation cut they probably gave soliders during World War II. Paired with suspenders or skinny pants, it is an obvious hipster alert. 


Most members of Dawes look like any other folk rock band, with bedhead and a little scruff, maybe a plaid flannel shirt. But drummer Griffin Goldsmith has something special resembling a cloud resting on top of his head. Griffin’s dirty blonde almost-afro looks so soft you could take a nap in it. Even though he’ll be at the back of the stage, audience members from all distances will likely see his curly locks bouncing to the beat. 

If you don’t know much about the band HAIM (pronounced like “time”, not “tame”), you are likely to hear a ton about them in the upcoming months. Compared to Fleetwood Mac and Wilson Phillips, this Los Angeles-based band, made up of the three Haim sisters and drummer Dash Hutton, made waves earlier this year with infectiously catchy singles and buzz-filled performances at South By Southwest. From there, the band booked opening slots for Vampire Weekend and Phoenix, made a stop at nearly every major summer festival and is scheduled to play at this year’s Austin City Limits Music Festival. Now HAIM has released one of the most anticipated debut albums of the year.

HAIM smartly arranged all the powerhouse singles at the beginning of Days Are Gone, delivering a powerful trio in the groovy “Falling,” the sublimely smooth “Forever” and the energetic and downright amazing “The Wire.” The singles are mainly structured around the hooks delivered by singer Este Haim’s powerful voice, accompanied by the ’90s rhythm and blues sounds that at points echo Destiny’s Child and TLC. This pattern of ’90s R&B meets indie rock comes together perfectly on “The Wire,” which builds up to greater heights on each chorus. 

Other highlights include the more restrained “If I Could Change Your Mind” and the blistering pop anthem “Don’t Save Me” later in the album. There are definitely moments of filler around the middle of the album, which show that the band doesn’t quite have the knack for appropriating R&B, ’80s pop and indie rock the way that contemporaries, such as Chairlift, do. That’s not to say there isn’t promise or innovation here, as is most exemplified by the later album standout “My Song 5.” The track is defined by an aggressive bass line and off-kilter beat that shows the band’s more aggressive and electronic side in a fascinating way. It makes for an electrifying moment that provides a much-needed diversion from the pattern that Days Are Gone falls into in the second half. 

The greatest lesson that can be taken from HAIM’s debut is that the group is at its strongest when it indulges more toward its ’90s pop sensibilities. Days Are Gone is a slightly formulaic and predictable debut, but is also a highly enjoyable one that expertly captures the fun and carefree vibes of summer. Fans of carefree pop music will find much to enjoy with this charming, if slightly uneven, album.