SXSW 2013: Up-And-Coming Sister Act Haim Confess The True Meaning Behind “Don’t Save Me”

Haim is a brand new girl group that hails from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, one that’s made up of sisters Danielle (above left), Este (above middle) and Alana (above right). The band has been kicking around the L.A. scene for a number of years, but got a huge boost late last year when the British press began fawning over their single, “Forever.” NME named it the #4 song of 2012, and the act topped the BBC’s Sound Of 2013 list this January.

Their sound mixes some of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours and Tusk era rhythms with Chrissie Hynde-style vocals, the latter courtesy of the band’s lead singer, Danielle. Their lyrics are quite reflective of their youthful age —the members of Haim are all between 21 and 27— and reflect the push/pull that we all experience at that time of our lives. For example, on their single “Don’t Save Me,” the song’s protagonist alternately asks the subject of the song to “save me” and then to “don’t save me.” We asked Danielle, who penned the lyrics to this song, about this sense of what we perceived to be indecisiveness down at SXSW last week, but found out that it was about something else altogether.

“We wrote it around the time we got signed,” she explained (see video above). “We spent so long trying to get signed. We spent seven years performing in LA, trying to get someone to watch us and trying to get someone to sign us and it never happened. But finally when we did, there was all this pressure, and it was kind of like, ’Is this it, or is this not?’ Honestly, that’s what it’s about. I always kind of hate it when artists talk about what their songs are about, though, because it kind of ruins it.”

Well, we’re not in the least upset that she gave us the inside scoop about that song; we love it when we are able to both interpret a song the way we choose and, at the same time, know exactly what was going through the mind of the songwriter when it was being composed. When it comes to “Forever,” though, there was more of a group effort at play (see video below).

“We all collectively wrote the lyrics together,” guitarist/percussionist Alana (aka @babyhaim) told us. “We always kind of take from our own experiences, and our friends experiences, and different things that inspire us to write the song.”

Danielle interjected, “When you’re younger and you meet your first love, I think you kind of always see it as always being there. And then, you realize it’s probably not going to be The One. It’s kind of like a girly thing, but I think it’s kind of about that. You know, saying ’If you’re willing to, I am, but I understand if you’re not.'”

Haim will be hitting the road, both in Europe and here in the States, in support of the upcoming release of the band’s first full-length album.

Be sure to tune-in to VH1’s Top 20 Video Countdown this weekend to watch Jim Shearer experience SXSW as only he can. His interviews with the likes of Snoop Lion, Paramore, Youngblood Hawke, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and more from down in Austin are guaranteed to make you giggle.