Album Review // HINDS ‘The Prettiest Curse’
Riotous, fuzzy, whimsical, feminine, and unashamedly bolder than ever before, the third studio album from Spanish quartet Hinds is here.
Only five days into June and we’ve already been served with a fresh breeze of summer air, an icy tropical cocktail, a cooling beach wave splash during a hot day. If you didn’t get where we’re going with this, that was just our way of describing The Prettiest Curse in one sentence. The third long play from the Madrid-based female force is an addictive sugary treat but without being too syrupy; instead it’s a fresh chaotic pop artwork that captures the liveliness of carefree youth, but without being immature – kidult, if we had to put it in one word. Hinds vibrantly sing on top of their lungs about love, loss, men, good and bad memories, criticism, all with a witty lyricism and commanding, taunting vocals. From the prominent heavy guitar riffs, roaring belting and mixing English and Spanish lyrics, there’s a sense of personality within this band that’s been kept very prominent throughout and this album finds them being pioneeringly themselves more than ever.
Opener Good Bad Times is a perfect summary of everything stated above, providing a great foundation for what’s about to come for the next thirty three minutes. The 80s-inspired synth-pop heavy intro is a sugary smooth sonic with whimsical vocals, finding the band going back to their good old vocoder à la Julian Casablancas vocals that we were very familiar with in their previous albums I Don’t Run (2018) and Leave Me Alone (2016). It kind of makes us all wish we could say “It’s a good day / With my pretty boy on my arm / Like in the movies / We’ve got a montage and a song.” Following Just Like Kids (Miau) is a big cheeky middle finger towards the haters and their unwanted criticism; “He said you were successful cause your legs are nice / It must be so much fun / To spend your daytime in the van / HAHAHA.”
Come Back And Love Me <3 is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the album as it sees the four piece going back to their roots, introducing the Spanish acoustic flamenco guitar and candid lyrics delivering an emotional tale of love and loss. A similar pondering is also observed on several tracks on the album such as Waiting For You and Take Me Back; the latter sees the protagonist crooning for a second chance and forgiveness. The croons overlie a melancholic bass line and startling extended guitar riffs that we could admit are the most impressive we’ve witnessed so far. The explosive glitzy guitars don’t stop there though as Burn possesses plenty of them, demandingly calling for the attention of the audience – ‘are you still listening?’
The Play sensibly questions one’s ongoing changing identity and only realising it through old memories, whilst This Moment Forever brings a wholesome intimately passionate finale as it reflects on the good times mentioned at the beginning and throughout the record. It’s that mature, yet still carefree contemplation between their past and present selves that makes the group create an organised attention-seeking chaos while still channelling their inner Cyndi Lauper. Hinds remain attached to their roots and influences but are not restrained by them, allowing themselves enough space to step out of their comfort zone and give birth to a trademark riotous explosive quality record that is The Prettiest Curse. Although delayed, definitely worth the wait.