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CD of The Week

Week of 6/08/20

    Hinds - The Prettiest Curse (Mom + Pop)

    Spain is not the first place you think of when you hear the term "indie rock," but Madrid's Hinds has been dishing up lo-fi garage rock since 2011. The previous output from this quirky foursome is full of songs sung in English and belted out in the usual guitar-bass-drums fashion. Subverting expectations on their long-awaited third album The Prettiest Curse, they hired Grammy-nominated producer Jenn Decilveo (Bat For Lashes, Beth Ditto) to polish their music without stripping away any of their youthful vivacity. Here we find them experimenting with dream-pop, layering keyboards, synths, and acoustic guitars while singing some lyrics in their native tongue, a first for Hinds.

    Lead singer/guitarists Ana Perrote and Carla Cosials pack in a lot of angst and emotional in just under 32 minutes on The Prettiest Curse. "Riding Solo" tragically, yet beautifully, describes loneliness: "Last night I met a stranger, he said that something was off / He said my eyes had sadness, I think they're made of rainbows." On "Burn," fuzzy guitars accentuate the gut-punch of heartache: "Take my heart 'cause I don't want it / Teach me how to feel without it." Meanwhile "Good Bad Times," a perfect indie-radio friendly single, kicks off the album with a slap back at rejection, stating "Bad times are a good sign / Maybe I'm no longer / As nice as you think." With a rhythm section made up of bassist Ade Martin and drummer Amber Grimbergen, Hinds never lets The Prettiest Curse succumb to negativity, as evident on the playful sass of "Just Like Kids (Miau)."

    Surprisingly, Hinds has received their share of negative criticism in the past from people in Spain. Perrote says it's "because of the kind of music [we make] and being girls and being young... not complaining... not dressing all in black." However, they've persevered with their brand of joyful music and risen above the shit-talking, even introducing a line of cruelty-free makeup and a clothing line for Urban Outfitters. Cosials sums it up in her explanation of the title: "We know we're not going to stop, so we've decided to embrace it – to see this curse as something pretty."
    Review by Dave Lindquist

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