April 13, 2024

Hinds – “The Prettiest Curse” – is more great pop from the Madrid all-female band

LUCKY NUMBER        5th June 2020

This delightfully playful album is what I expected from this Madrid-based band. At the end of 2018, on stage, they were clearly having fun with bite-size chunks of bouncy indie. Here, with their third album, they make a slightly fuzzy sound, artfully blending sweetly simple pop melodies, call and response choruses, indie guitar fuzz and pounding drums. I wouldn’t want you to think it was simple though: It has a DIY aesthetic but the patterns and structures are many and varied, carefully built to add tension and excitement, making the album involving throughout. You can still picture the all-girl line-up having fun, vibeing off each other and making infectious fun but it is atop an artfully assembled scaffold that showcases the band’s skills.

Good Bad Times has the pop sensibilities of a floor-filler chart act but darkened lyrically as we hear the good times go bad in a relationship. Just Like Kids follows up with some cutesy taunting and an indie sugar-rush of a chorus. Riding Solo and Boy stack up the guitars and fuzz into a thick soup of thudding drums and vocal hooks. There is something classically girl group going on – you could chart a line between the Shangri-Las, the Spice Girls and The Pipettes – as they sing “all I want is my boy” over a rising guitar line. The chorus work tell another story: a guitar group who would probably pick each other’s company over any boy’s.

Come Back & Love Me wins as a quiet acoustic number with a nicely cutesy vocal line subverted by ambiguous lyrics. A syncopated backline sustains Burn and Take Me Back gets back on track with a loud / quiet type structure and nicely sharp guitar leads. The Play has smart drumming and a very catchy chorus that makes it a bit of an air-puncher. Waiting For You is punchy and decorative guitar slides nicely into the signature indie sound of Hinds. The album eases out on a slower-paced ballad and all that is left is to press play again.

It is nice to hear more Spanish on this album, while keeping enough English to give them a shot at the international audience – still, a good tune is a good tune in any language. This is a band that has fun and revels in their ability to write some great pop tunes too.

Review of the Leave Me Alone album:   https://www.vanguard-online.co.uk/hinds-leave-me-alone/

Live review:   https://www.vanguard-online.co.uk/hinds-spanish-bombs-fall-on-leeds/

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