AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #286 : HINDS

Hinds, from Madrid, have very much become a firm favourite in Villain Towers. Here’s a brief bio, courtesy of allmusic:-

“Spain in the 2010s was a hotbed for garage rock bands, mostly fronted and populated by men. The four women of Hinds broke the mold and in the process became the most successful of them all. Their debut album, 2016’s Leave Me Alone, brought their rambunctious, sometimes ramshackle, sound to the world. Further records refined it with slicker production and more-focused songcraft, and on the quartet’s third long-player, 2020’s The Prettiest Curse, they dipped their toes into the edge of the pop mainstream.

The band was originally formed in Madrid in 2011 by Carlotta Cosials and Ana García Perrote, two young women tired of hanging out while their friends made music. After learning the basics of guitar, the duo released a pair of lo-fi demos on their Bandcamp page under the name Deers. Released in the summer of 2014, those two noisy, melodic pop tunes, “Bamboo” and “Trippy Gum,” caught the attention of several U.K. publications like NME and The Guardian. Within months, Deers had expanded to a quartet with the addition of bassist Ade Martín and drummer Amber Grimbergen. A second single release, “Barn,” followed in November of that year, after which Deers were forced to change their name due to a legal threat by another band already using it. Under their new moniker, Hinds, they continued to expand their touring range across Europe and the U.K., releasing a split single with fellow Spaniards the Parrots in April 2015 and appearing on a compilation from garage-centric U.S. label Burger Records.

Hinds’ debut album, Leave Me Alone, arrived in January 2016 on Lucky Number in the U.K. and Mom + Pop in the U.S. The band toured the world to promote the record throughout the rest of the year, released a deluxe version of the album, and were named a winner of a 2017 European Border Breakers Award. The group continued to tour in 2017, though they also took time to record a song, “A Rodar,” for the Spanish release of the film Cars 3.

The quartet also began working on their second album, this time co-producing it themselves with the help of Gordon Raphael (the Strokes, Regina Spektor). 2018’s I Don’t Run was again released by the team of Lucky Number and Mom + Pop, and featured a slightly cleaned-up and punchier garage pop sound.

Recorded in New York City and produced by Jenn Decilveo (Bat for Lashes, the Wombats), The Prettiest Curse followed in 2020. On the album, Hinds moved another step away from their lo-fi garage roots while still retaining their joyous spirit and rambunctious vocals.”

All of which demonstrates why pulling together this ICA has been such a challenge.  Just the three albums in a five-year period, but each of them being quite different in the way that have been worked on, produced and delivered.

There are some days when I prefer the lo-fi and noisy approach of the debut when the duel vocals from Carlotta and Ana aren’t always in harmony, and indeed on occasions seem to be embarking on their own semi-private duel for supremacy.  Then, there are those days when the most recent album is given a spin as it never fails to put a smile on my face, thanks to its more pop-friendly and sunnier approach, with some of the lyrics being sung in their native Spanish.

And then there’s the middle album – I Don’t Run – which was, in effect, my introduction to the band.  While it doesn’t offer anything truly groundbreaking, it is a fabulous listen from start to end, packed with  jaunty upbeat sounding songs which provide cover for a set of lyrics dealing, for the most part, with the downside of falling in love – failed relationships, bitterness, misery, loneliness, revenge and relying on your friends to pull you through.

It was tempting to go with an ICA in chronological order, allowing those of you unfamiliar with the band to hear the journey from the rough’n’ready stuff through to the pop sophistication, but in the end I’ve mixed things up a bit.  It’s also 12 songs rather than the usual 10, partly as I just couldn’t narrow things down, but also for the fact that, even with the additional tracks, it still clocks in at less than 38 minutes.

SIDE A

1. Chili Town (from Leave Me Alone, 2015)
2. Just Like Kids (Miau) (from The Prettiest Curse, 2020)
3. The Club (from I Don’t Run, 2018)
4. Spanish Bombs (cover of The Clash song, download 2020)
5. New For You (from I Don’t Run, 2018)
6. I’ll Be Your Man (from Leave Me Alone, 2015)

SIDE B

1. Good Bad Times (from The Prettiest Curse, 2020)
2. Soberland (from I Don’t Run, 2018)
3. Warts (from Leave Me Alone, 2015)
4. Castigadas En El Granero (from Leave Me Alone, 2015)
5. Burn (from The Prettiest Curse, 2020)
6. Tester (from I Don’t Run, 2018)

If you like what you’re hearing, then please head over to the bandcamp site and spend some money!!

JC

4 thoughts on “AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #286 : HINDS

  1. Brilliant start to the day, JC. I’d only heard – and loved – Good Bad Times before Swiss Adam recently posted their cover of Spanish Bombs over at Bagging Area. Today’s post & link was the final nudge to go and spend some money on their back catalogue!

    BTW, I for one am glad you didn’t stick with the chronological sequencing. It really works.

  2. Great. Apart from Spanish Bombs I only know one other Hinds track
    and it’s not on this ICA, so looking forward to some surprises.

  3. Thanks for this JC
    One of the many bands on my to be explored further list.

  4. I love Hinds – Spanish Bombs was available as a flexidisc with the Dinked edition of their last album – they’re great live too – really charming and a lot of fun – I did prefer them in their early days though when they had a slightly ramshackle feel about them

    They released a single called United Girls Rock’n’Roll Club with a Japanese band called Chai which is worth checking out…

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