Hinds - The Prettiest Curse
After over two months of forced postponement due to COVID-19 the much awaited third record from Hinds, Spain's charismatic garage-pop quartet is nearly here. The new album 'The Prettiest Curse' is now set for release on June 5th and we can tell you that it is worth the wait!
Initially we felt a new sense of calm and freedom when listening to the first three singles from the new album. 'Riding Solo' offers a playful summer sway and whilst it does build to a climactic instrumental outburst, this feels like more of an exciting finale rather than leaving any angsty aftertaste. 'Good Bad Times' too lulls you into daydreams of summer romance and although it talks of how quickly things can fall apart the musical tone itself is upbeat and playful. The third single 'Come Back And Love Me' is a dreamy love song that allows their Spanish origins to flow through and again made us think that this upcoming album might be tapping into a softer emotional pallet.
Don't think for one second that these first singles aren't good. They are some of the best track that Hinds have ever produced and create that imperfect beauty that makes their music so desirable. However, one of the elements that gained the band so much attention is their careful balance of warming Spanish melodies mixed in with a fierce and uncompromising attitude. Therefore these first three singles made us hugely excited for 'The Prettiest Curse' but left wondering if they had lost their angsty side.
Well we couldn't have been more wrong. One month later and Hinds came back with their fourth album single 'Just Like Kids (Miau)' and its about as bold and powerful as it gets! The track is a full throttle call to attention to anyone who thinks they can prejudge them. It lists the condescending presumptions and patronising questions music fans and industry professionals have made about them as a band.
"Are you Spanish or something
Wait, can you roll your r's
You're too pink to be admired
And to punk to be desired"
It is a hard hitting diatribe towards anyone who wants to judge them on anything apart from their music. And this request is fully justified as their music offers any answer you could possibly need from them. For us, this track optimises Hinds; it showcases their fierce tenacity and much desired ability to create songs that radiate the band's collective personality.
This display of personality continues throughout the album with many of the best tracks featuring loosely layered vocals from Cosials, Perrote and Martin. This creates a joyful sense of comradery that is a trademark of the Hinds sound. It means that when the chorus hits, it is a chorus in its original sense. The unified vocals draw you deep inside the workings of each track digging for the nuances and subtleties in their vocal tones and in turn making the listener feel more connected to the music.
That is one of the key elements that makes Hinds' music so enjoyable; you can feel where the song is coming from and, in amongst the jumbled chorus', almost feel part of it. In the new album they have taken the concept to the next level and have offered fans a visual tour inside their creative thinking behind each track. On their website they have an interactive album cover featuring an eclectic messy scene featuring many objects. Each object symbolises the thought process for one of the 10 tracks. By understanding the origins of each song, you feel more at one with the lyrics and can resonate with the emotions they are trying to convey with much more intensity.
For example the roses resemble 'Burn', the passionate tale of life as a musician. The roses, used as a juxtaposition to the track's title conveys how "some people wanna give you flowers, some people only wanna see you burn". The energy of the track reflects this message too, with a cynical verse building to an uplifting chorus and euphoric guitar solo.
In fact the guitars on The Prettiest Curse is something else that stands out. There have always been satisfying high-reverb riffs in their music, yet this new record is packed full of outstanding guitar moments. Three consecutive tracks 'Burn' 'Take Me Back' and 'The Play' all leave time for the piercing guitar tones to take centre stage and it really elevates the album!
LISTEN TO THE NEW SINGLES FROM HINDS ON OUR LISTEN UP PLAYLIST
Talking of 'Take Me Back' it is probably our favourite track from the album. It takes the DIY feel you would associate with Hinds and adds an extra textured layer of depth making the sound even more fulfilling and complete. Although you may not think this from the outside but when really digging into this song it is the most heartfelt and sentimental of the whole record. Again it is the tone of the guitar that really makes it. The song begins with a defensive, or possibly self-conscious, recount of a relationship with the chorus line "Don't take me back" before hitting an expansive instrumental, a moment of calm and honest realisation and finally changing tune to ask "Please take me back" in a finale that just needs to be witnessed live!!
On the whole this has to be our favourite Hinds album yet. It carries the same imperfect charm that came with their last two records but with a higher production value and a lot more to offer. Whether it's sing-a-long pop hooks or energy-packed punk aggression you can find it all lurking in the hidden corners of 'The Prettiest Curse'.