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The fourth album from Spanish indie rockers Hinds opens with a song called “Hi, How Are You,” and at the time they were writing it, best friends Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote would’ve responded: Not great. “Hey, you ok?” Perrote sings to Cosials, who responds: “I’ve been better tbh.” It’s an apt introduction to VIVA HINDS, an album Cosials and Perrote made after emerging from a creative rut that began when they released their last album, Prettiest Curse, in 2020 and ended when their bassist and drummer decided to leave the band. In between, they split with their management team, lost touring revenue due to lockdowns, and were without a label for the first time, but when Perrote and Cosials got together to write VIVA HINDS, those hardships dissolved. The girls had no one in their corner, but they had one another, and that mutual trust (they call themselves “millionaires in friendship”) allowed them to create the most accomplished album of their careers, one that celebrates their shared history and reaffirms that this band is in it for the long haul.

Effervescent since inception, Hinds took off instantly over a decade ago when, after spending one too many nights out watching guy friends play guitar, Perrote and Cosials decided that they would learn the instrument, write songs, and start a band. Their scrappy ethic, infectious onstage personalities, and knack for writing hooks made their debut album, 2016’s Leave Me Alone, a buzzy hit, and they kept the momentum going with I Don’t Run in 2018. Since those formative early days, they’ve toured internationally and graced festival stages at Glastonbury, Coachella, Fuji Rock, and many more, in addition to opening for major acts like The Strokes, Coldplay, and 5SOS. Through it all, they nurtured the intense bond that brought them together in the first place. “We started the band because we are so safe and comfortable with each other. Our relationship is unbreakable,” Cosials says. “This connection between us hasn’t changed since the very beginning. We still finish each other’s ideas, laugh at each other’s jokes and rhyme each other’s lines. Maintaining that enthusiasm for music and for Hinds through the years may seem extremely difficult to find, but it’s something that only can happen with your very best friend.”

It’s been four years since Hinds released Prettiest Curse, the longest gap they’ve taken between albums, and in that time frame, the girls tended the joyful spirit that made them want to start a band with help from a few critical collaborators and friends. Initially, the girls shared their demos with Sean Silverman (Beach Weather) on a trip to Los Angeles, who also showed them a pedal effect they’d never used before, one that would go on to influence the sonic landscape of VIVA HINDS.  The first song they wrote for the record, the hypnotic “Boom Boom Back,” features Beck, who they met by chance at a film screening on that same trip to LA. Further collaborators included Hinds’ close friend Grian Chatten of Fontaines D.C., who sings on the simmering post-punk inspired stand-out track “Stranger.”

VIVA HINDS doesn’t tell a single story. Instead, the album navigates a spectrum of raw emotion, ones the Perrote and Cosials have experienced together and as individuals. To record, they decamped to two homes in rural France, each time revisiting their notebooks, where they’d drawn up a list of the words they hoped to channel in the recording process: honest, optimistic, wild, sarcastic, indestructible. “This isn’t a rational album, this is made with emotions, in no specific order. We never sat down to think what we should write about, we sat down to write about what we were going through. We didn’t choose a ‘new look,’ we didn’t wanna pretend to be mature, or appear as a more sophisticated band.  To me it is cohesive, but it’s not a fairy tale or a brainy narrative. It’s heart-driven,” Cosials says. Accompanied by producer Pete Robertson (Beabadoobee) and Grammy-nominated engineer Tom Roach, the girls fit what they could into two vehicles – guitars, bass, drums, pedals, synths – and built studios in the living area of each location. The intimate settings made for a beautiful, creative experience; at one of the houses, it was so quiet out that they were able to record with the windows open, and when they were done for the day, walk to the sea.

Despite the determinedly simple approach, VIVA HINDS is sonically adventurous and career-defining, evidenced by single “Superstar,” which simmers delicately before it explodes into an empowering, if rageful, rallying cry: “Good job/ Now you’re a local superstar/ That only hangs with superstars/ Carrying the weight of all that fame!” Hinds’ moodboard included references to artists like the Moldy Peaches, Daniel Johnston, and Courtney Barnett, reminders that legendary songs are made without expectation, that a studio filled with gear doesn’t guarantee an album full of heart. You can hear the influence on “Coffee,” wherein Cosials and Perrote admit to the things they love that they’re told they’re not supposed to, about doing all the things they’re not meant to do.

That sense of liberation led them to write “The Bed, The Room, The Rain and You,” a song Cosials calls a personal favourite, among the very best they’ve written. The nineties-inflected production sounds off to the Cranberries as the girls sing the only love song on the album in both English and Spanish. “El sol y tú/ La luna y tú/ Let me know where I can find you,” they intone their voices  as weightless as any true romance should be. That sense of levity dissipates by the end of the album on “En Forma,” their first to be sung entirely in Spanish, when with rapid-fire delivery, the duo mirror the head-spinning anxiety of the onset of a panic attack. “To me, the song represents how fucking complicated it is to be a person these days, and the complexity of being a woman, especially, trying to juggle the news, politics, our bodies, our exes , the laundry,” Perrote says. “How do people do it?”

Hinds has experienced setbacks before. When they got their start all those years ago, they’d chosen the name Deers, amassing a fanbase only to be served a cease and desist by a more established band with a similar name. As always, Cosials and Perrote exuded enviable optimism when they announced the band’s new moniker on social media. “OKAY!!! LET’S TAKE THIS WITH A SMILE,” they wrote. To their delight, the name took quickly; soon after, at a show, they heard the audience shouting: “Viva Hinds!” This started happening everywhere they went. It was a small upset, but both Cosials and Perrote were reminded of it as they wrapped their new album. What initially seemed like an ending then, as now, turned out to be a new phase. VIVA HINDS.

Have a listen…

Saturday 22nd February 2025

Price: £17.50 Adv. (stbf)

Doors: 19:30

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