No disrespect to tapas and jamón, but Hinds is our favorite Spanish export. The Madrid quartet have a bubbly, infectious presence, so much so that when they take the stage at this year’s Life is Beautiful in September, you’ll want to jump up there with them. But they don’t just play hard.
In the two years since their breakout 2016 debut, Leave Me Alone, they’ve toured incessantly and perfected their sound—dirty, jangly garage-rock that would play just as well inside a beer-drenched New York dive in the ’70s as it does on European festival stages today. While the first album was very much a party record, their recently-released sophomore effort, I Don’t Run, is a thunderclap of a statement. Tighter in their sound and sisterhood, Hinds stay true to themselves, not fleeing from their mistakes or shying from their struggles.
We caught up with half of Hinds—singer/guitarist Carlotta Cosials and drummer Amber Grimbergen—during the Life is Beautiful showcase at SXSW last month to talk about I Don’t Run, being more honest and finding friends on Facebook.
Tell us about the new album.
Amber: It’s awesome.
Carlotta: We love it to the end. I know it’s strange that a band loves their own music, but for real, this album to us means a lot. All the details have a personal meaning and it’s, for us, such a big step.
What are some those personal topics?
Carlotta: We’re all the time talking about what comes after love. There’s a word in Spanish, desamor, but you don’t have it in English, so it’s hard for us to explain, but it’s the hard part, like the—
Amber: Like un-love.
Carlotta: Exactly. It’s just the tough times that love gives you.
Spanish-language music is celebrated around the globe. Why do you guys record in English instead of Spanish?
Carlotta: It just came out like that so naturally. When we first started to write songs and sing, it came out in English, probably because of the—
Amber: All of the music we listen to is in English.
Carlotta: Exactly. It’s in your mind, and you wanna do the music that you like.
It’s been two years since your last album. What have you guys been up to?
Carlotta: All 2016 was touring, touring, touring like hell. 2017 was more like a creative year [and] putting all of those experiences into the album. … Music videos, merch, the artwork and, of course, the songs mixed in. The whole process is long and we really want[ed] to take control of everything.
Did you do anything differently on this album compared to the first one?
Carlotta: I think we’re more honest, at least lyrically. We’re not afraid of saying things clearly anymore because in the first album it was a lot of metaphors. In this one, we’re more straight to the point of what we’re gonna say.
Amber: We knew what we wanted when we walked into the studio, so that was easier for us.
Your new singles “The Club” and “New for You” are big hits. What’s the meaning behind “New for You”? Is it about changing for yourself or a lover?
Carlotta: It’s cool that you took it that way, because sometimes people understand [it as] the other person is pushing you to not be yourself and it’s not like that at all. You wanna be a better person for the other—choosing love as a reason to improve yourself. I think it’s such a beautiful thing.
What about “The Club?” It’s the album opener, and you guys have said that it’s your “presentation card.” What makes that song so special?
Amber: We are so fucking proud of that song. We love it so much. I think “New for You” is more the transition from the first album to the second one, but this one is more like the new version of us.
Carlotta: All the parts and the solos; how the drums go. The whole song is a personality that we didn’t have in the first album.
You guys have such great chemistry. How long have you all known each other?
Carlotta: [Singer/guitarist] Ana [Perrote] and me, we were friends before for a long time, going out and going to gigs and going on vacation together. … The four of us [together], it’s been four years.
Amber: I’m the new one. … They found me via Facebook. They were looking for a drummer, and I had a profile pic playing the drums and I got a message from Ana. Here I am.
Wait, you guys asked [Amber] to join the band based on a profile picture?
Carlotta: Exactly. it’s not that easy to find a female drummer in Madrid, so it was kind of like, this one.
You mention the Madrid music scene. What’s it like out there?
Carlotta: It’s growing really fast right now. After we came out, and started going to a lot of places and traveling the world and stuff, we feel like it did a click to the—
Amber: Outside world.
Carlotta: And to the minds of the bands in Madrid. Like, “Oh, my God, I can go outside of Spain.”
What’s next for you guys?
Amber: This [European] tour and then we’re touring the U.S. again in May. We’re doing all of it, almost.
Carlotta: It’s gonna be awesome to see everybody again.