7. Haim, Days Are Gone
Back in mid-2012, right when we were first getting warmed up to this trio of sisters known as Haim, they covered Fleetwood Mac's "Hold Me,"and it set the tone for what to expect. It's pop music, but these girls know their way around a guitar riff, and they quickly gained a reputation for putting on an excellent live show-something many new pop artists struggle with these days, when production sometimes outshines instrumentation.
Throughout the rest of 2012 and into early 2013, Haim proved themselves to be more than just a retro pop group with one or two flashes of brilliance. Single after single, they delivered with powerful choruses and great songwriting-and they never flopped. They took their time with the debut, waiting over a year from when they first started buzzing to put out an album, and the best thing of all? The standout songs on their albums are the ones we didn't see coming. "My Song 5" sounds ilke nothing Haim has ever done-it combines their live instrumentation with a minimal backdrop and a stomping beat. And it's the best song on their album. —Jacob Moore