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Alana Haim, from all-sister Californian band Haim, says she looks up to Stevie Nicks and Blondie.

Olivia Harris/REUTERS

They have joined the ranks of other legendary sister acts – among them the Dixie Chicks, Tegan and Sara, the Andrews Sisters and Heart – and they count Beyoncé and the Spice Girls among their influences. But whatever you do, don't call fast-rising music superstars Haim a girl band.

"Growing up, there were a lot of girl artists like the Spice Girls, Aaliyah and Destiny's Child. But none of them really played instruments and I would always look up to Stevie Nicks and Blondie – they are dope female musicians," Alana Haim said in a recent interview with the Telegraph. "So I just see us as a band. When people call us a girl band, I take it as an insult – being a girl in a band shouldn't be a thing. It seems so medieval."

And while it also seems as if Haim shot into the limelight, fame was far from instant for the sisters, who grew up in Los Angeles's San Fernando Valley and whose sound has been likened to a blend of seventies Fleetwood Mac and Beyoncé-era pop and R&B.

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In fact, the sisters have been playing together since they were kids – they performed cover songs at local fairs with their parents – and formed a band back in 2006. But it was an EP and a breakout performance at South by Southwest in 2012 that kicked their careers into high gear and landed the trio opening slots with top acts from Florence and the Machine to Rihanna.

Now the quartet (there's also a non-related male drummer named Dash Hutton) is playing the main stage at major fests and adding some serious heft to their awards shelf, with recent additions including a Brit Award for best international group and an NME Award for best international band. The video for their single If I Could Change Your Mind alone has garnered more than four million views.

"I think it is important to have a vision and to stay true to that," says Este Haim about the group's decision to take their time releasing its first album. "We wanted it to be exactly the way we wanted it, and to sound exactly the way we wanted it to sound. We were really careful about that."

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