HINDS: ‘I Don’t Run’

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Hinds is back with the release of their much-anticipated sophomore studio album I Don’t Run, and they haven’t strayed from their ultra-cool, garage-tinged rock. Despite Hinds hailing from Madrid, I Don’t Run sounds like it was recorded in an American garage by four dogged women who aren’t putting up with your shit – oh wait, that last part is true. Hinds is Carlotta Cosials, Ana Perotte, Ade Martin, and Amber Grimbergen, a femme-tastic lineup that only ups their mystique amidst international buzz. “Talented” is perhaps the best word to describe the still-nascent band, as Cosials’s vocals effortlessly pierce the air above jangling guitar chords, flaunting the maturity of a band whose second album is even more arresting than the first without needing a soul-searching scramble for identity.

Hinds doesn’t hold back on I Don’t Run; Cosials obstinately sings “dude i get confused i’m not openly yours / and what about the necking when i came / should i’ve known before you were also banging her?” on “Tester,” one of the album’s most brazen songs. Hinds expertly toes a fine line between fun and gritty, between rock and pop – contrast “Tester” with the pop anthem “New For You” or the similarly catchy “Echoing My Name” that follows it and you’ll recognize a band that loves to let loose but is capable of restraint and tight melodies, but never exactly polish. Their lo-fi production is essential to their music, evoking a sense of comfort and relatability; there’s just something about hearing Cosials sing with a hint of weariness “you don’t need a lover but I don’t want – I don’t wanna go” over head-bobbing guitar hook that makes her infinitely human.

Some of the downtempo tracks on the album – in particular, “I Feel Cold But I Feel More” – carry a whiff of The Velvet Underground in their self-assured, minimalist panache. Sometimes this makes their denser tracks pale in comparison, as on tracks like “Rookie,” the layered voices of Cosials and Perrote eventually become grating; the back-and-forth on “Soberland” is a less overwhelming utilization of both member’s pipes, and acts as a testament to the band’s creativity.

I Don’t Run isn’t a far cry from Hinds’ first release Leave Me Alone, but that isn’t a bad thing. A little more vulnerable and a little more ambitious, Hinds continues to capture hearts with their signature easy garage-pop, and although they have claimed their stake in the American music scene, they remind us of their roots with album closer “Ma Nuit” (My Night). Although partially in French and English as well as Spanish, it drifts along on eerie, minor-keyed guitar strums that will transport you to the alleys of Barcelona’s gothic quarter, reminding us that Hinds is gracing our ears from across the ocean.

8/10

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