It’s been a good 18 months since Madrid-based four-piece Hinds (or a two-piece named Deers as they were in June 2014) dropped a bubbly ramshackle of an EP imaginatively titled ‘Demo’, where their insatiably catchy, sun-drenched surf was a smile that you simply had to return. Since then, they’ve dropped a handful of singles, toured extensively and even dropped a Greatest Hits EP, delectably titled ‘The Very Best of Hinds So Far’. There’s a pretty good chance you’ve heard of Hinds by now, and the release of their debut LP will make for a very happy New Year for those who’ve succumbed to the band’s delightful charm.
The intense period between the band’s first release and the dropping of a debut LP hasn’t glossed over the sound of Hinds, and the result is an album full of everything that endeared so many people to them in the first place. Bursting with spirit, warmth and a lovable, youthful energy, Leave Me Alone is entirely lo-fi, with fuzzy, jangled garage guitars creating delightfully easygoing vibes. It’s splendidly playful, and the infectiously perfect chemistry that the band have shown on stage is transported effortlessly onto the record itself.
Opening track Garden raises the curtain with reverb-drenched guitars that surf into a laid-back groove. It’s pumped full of flirtatiously impish, rickety hooks and a 21st century rehash of 60s soul, typifying the album’s focus on the unashamedly pop side of the spectrum – a simple formula of mellow grooves and bright, catchy hooks. When sheltered under the fuzz of a lo-fi umbrella, the effect is one that is both savvy and frolicsome.
The dual vocals of Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perotte are a key factor in what really sets Hinds apart. Cosials possesses a hazy drawl, whilst Perotte takes an almost lackadaisical, languid approach to her singing. The contrasting vocals act as punctuation to each other’s musings, whether they are countering a bite, hammering home a wistful perspective, or both wailing without restraint with arms around each other’s shoulders. The DIY aesthetic that is executed so admirably on the record is largely down to the vocal chemistry between Cosials and Perotte. Leave Me Alone gives the impression that this is a girl group that is airtight both on and off their debut LP.
Leave Me Alone is giddy with joy, cackling with sun-drenched vibes and that captivating youthful energy, and it’s impossible to listen to tracks like Easy, Chili Town and San Diego without leeching off it. Hinds are a rare breed, ensnaring a vivacious attitude through their work and managing to sound comprehensively fresh whilst doing it. Yes, there’s not much new from when we first heard them as a duo a couple of summers ago, but why should trying anything new be at the forefront of their work right now? Hinds are simply focused on having fun, and ensuring everyone else is too.
The album represents multiple facets of youth, and delicately takes on the helter-skelter of emotions that comes part and parcel with such a course. Aspects of blind anguish, vulnerability and joyous revenge are dotted amongst the frisky surf, and they’re always reflected in a light-hearted, jaunty manner. Music doesn’t need to be perplexing, and Hinds are far too concerned about having a good time to let it become so. 82%
FIRST PUBLISHED ON NO RIPCORD