Spanish indie four-piece Hinds are something of an exception to the restrictive conventions that have typically governed their genre. Indie rock has traditionally, to an almost ludicrous degree, been the preserve of quite a specific grouping, largely white, male and set in modern English-speaking cities.
The Madrid-based four-piece, consisting of three Spanish women and Dutch drummer Amber Grimbergen, are a welcome change of pace that sit a long, long way from those traditions. It’s been harder to break in from that outsider perspective. Indie rock bands from non-English speaking Europe that succeed in places like Ireland are a real rarity. That Hinds have succeeded, recently returning from a tour supporting The Strokes that stopped off in Belfast, speaks volume for the quality of their music.
“I think we may have seemed ‘exotic’ playing kind of American music with Spanish accents,” Grimbergen laughs when I ask her about their status in the genre. “I think people are getting more used to girls in bands, and girls on stages, and it’s no longer “the thing to talk about,” but I still think it is harder for girls in music and we still get more shit than male artists.”
Hinds were on the verge of releasing their third album, ‘The Prettiest Curse’, when the coronavirus hit, halting their ever-popular tours, and ultimately halting the album, too, with its release pushed back for happier times.
“It feels amazing to have it done,” Grimbergen says. “It was a long process, building this album, way longer than the previous two albums. It sounds so different, it really is a good third album, in my opinion, and we were all so excited to finally put it out.”
“We weren’t really sure about the delay being the right move, but it seems it was. It was just intuition, and seeing the whole world was going to be shut down… it didn’t make sense to keep the original release date. The new one feels like good timing.”
Single ‘Just Like Kids (MIAU)’ did make it out ahead of the release, and the drummer describes the track as something of an act of therapy. “MIAU feels like a big relief, it feels like we have thrown a lot of weight off our shoulders with this song and it’s lyrics,” she says, the song pointedly punching at their critics, quipping lines like “my friend said you’re successful because your legs are nice,” and “You’re always out of tune, and there’s no place for you.”
The live shows, though, are the thing that Hinds really live for, a chance to let loose. “Those Strokes shows were really great,” Grimbergen says. “Playing live gives you the opportunity to play for new people in awesome places and maybe meet your idols. We have always loved live shows, we toured almost the whole world before putting any albums out.”
“Through the shutdown, we have been putting together some home versions for some songs, each of us at our places playing our instruments. Things seem to be moving forward in Spain now though. Slowly, but forward.”
As for when things are ultimately back to normal? “ I believe everyone is going to be hungry for live shows and for a good time,” Grimbergen says. Should their September show in Dublin prove possible, Hinds will certainly provide that.
Hinds have rescheduled their April date at the Grand Social, Dublin to September 17, 2020. They can’t wait to get back on stage.