A group like Hinds comes around once every blue moon, bursting onto the music scene in a rhythmic ruckus that you have no choice but to adore. After finding immense success with their first two studio albums, 2016’s Leave Me Alone and 2018’s I Don’t Run, the Spanish indie rock band are gearing up to share their third record with the world this April: The Prettiest Curse. Comprised of vocalist/guitarist Carlotta Cosials aka “CC” (an Aries), vocalist/guitarist Ana Perrote (a Virgo), bassist Ade Martin, and drummer Amber Grimberge (both Pisces), the group started out as a duo between Cosials and Perrote in 2011. Originally called Deers, the pair later became a foursome, switching their name to Hinds and never looking back. Having played shows with some of the biggest names in the industry – think The Strokes, The Libertines, The Vaccines and Black Lips – it’s clear the quartet are more than a little seasoned in their profession, something of a force to be reckoned with. But what do they do when they’re not jamming on some of the biggest stages across the globe? The remainder of 2020, at least, will be spent on the road – touring Europe, the UK, USA, Canada and performing at various festivals to promote their upcoming release.
The Madrid-based indie rock quartet delves into their sparkly third album, The Prettiest Curse, and the direction it’s taking their sound.
When I ask them to tell me about themselves, individually, Perrote shares: “CC is a lover, a creator and wild. I’m empathetic, boss and a fighter. Ade is laughter, rock and chats. Amber is energy, rhythm and feelings.” You’d be forgiven for thinking this is the groups only hustle, however outside of the band, the girls are eager to tell me about the classes they have all have been taking in Madrid: Ana is doing ceramics and painting; CC is doing comic lessons; Ade is hosting a “music podcast radio show”; and Amber has been baking and cooking. “Ade and Amber are also currently passing their driving licence test today,” Perrote laughs as if they were joined at the hip.
When we touch upon how the girls deal with the constant pressures that come part and parcel with the music industry and its critics, they tell me about finding inspiration to keep going in the autobiographies of other female musicians. Some of their favourite books include Patti Smith’s Just Kids, Viv Albertine’s Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys, and Lily Allen’s My Thoughts Exactly.
Focused on unpacking their new album, which was recorded in London’s Strongroom Studios and Brookyn’s Bunker Studios respectively, the band describe the project as “a spectrum of emotions” – with songs about introspection, identity crisis, lonerism, relationships, sexism, jealousy and love – just to name a few. When elaborating on the themes of the release, the quartet tells me, “You can see us fight through it all – living and dying for music.”
But, this time around, there is one crucial difference between The Prettiest Curse and their two previous releases: “We finally had time! Time to write, time to produce, time to choose! The last two records were written in gaps between tour, and for the first time, we said no to that, and stopped touring to only focus on the writing. We wrote a lot of songs – some really bad and some really good. We had the time to make decisions with perspective, and work harder on the songs we chose. We really got out of our comfort zone with this album.”
Branching out from their more “bare-bones, lo-fi” sound for their most “sparkly” album yet, they worked prolifically alongside Grammy-nominated and Brit-nominated producer Jenn Decilveo: “She made us yell louder than ever, would pretty much force us to do guitar solos every second she could and I think just helped us find our new sound identity.” The album was also, in a unique twist for the band, written over a period of different seasons, “some of the songs were written in the cold of London in February, some in sunny Spain in the spring and fall, and some in LA in the summer.”
When going into the studio, the group focused on expanding their musical palette by listening to an album before each recording session, and one immediately after. Records by The Jesus and Mary Chain influenced them to turn “very pop melodies into something more punk and interesting”; Molotov was used as a reference for backing vocals, and Los Punsetes were looked to for their lyricism. They explain: “With this album we knew we wanted to start singing in our native language, but after five years writing in a different language, it became a real challenge. We didn’t know our personalities as Spanish writers, so we found the light with Punsetes lyrics.”
With unsettlingly relatable singles like “Come Back And Love Me <3” and “Good Bad Times”, the group has a bullseye aim on bringing some magic back into this “grey, broken” world. Perrote elaborates, “The older I get, the more I see that everyone is struggling. Life is not easy, and I think the hardest part of going through a bad moment is the isolation you feel – when you think you are the only person that has felt that way. Music is a way of connecting strangers, unifying us all in one feeling. I hope our music can help people feel less lonely. A lot of girls come to us after our shows to tell us they started playing instruments, and are in bands with their best friends, because of us. If we have more women in music, we will have women’ vision of the world, and that would make a better world.”