Could anything be more perfectly timed than Hinds‘ debut album? The Madrid garage-pop band built the perfect amount of buzz ahead of it with EPs and a worldwide tour last year, then released on Friday, so early in 2015 that hopes are still high that this go around the cosmos will bring fewer bummers than the last. And so far, the promise of better days remains intact—in regards to Hinds, at least. Leave Me Alone gleefully rises to the occasion, simultaneously fulfilling expectations for the group and validating your New Year optimism.
We’ve already heard the opener: It’s “Garden,” the deceptively sweet sounding love song underscored by the rumbling of failed romance. That track made our Best Of 2015 list, and what follows is more of the perfect same, but with the occasional extra kick. There’s an overarching F-you in “Fat Calmed Kiddos,” a jump-off jolt in “Castigadas En El Granero,” which is pretty lyrically vicious. At one point, they even threaten to kill someone’s dogs. It’s probably not a literal threat, of course, but still — yikes. Though their tunes might be generally carefree, Hinds make sure there’s no question about the potency of their pluck. On “And I Will Send Your Flowers Back,” there’s an obvious degree of detest: “What goes around comes around,” they chant, and it rings more like a curse than a subtle warning.
First formed as Deers in 2011, they were forced to rename themselves last January after the threat of legal action from a band already using the name. The switch to Hinds turned out to be an inadvertent boon to their growth as musicians. It’s in this last year, after settling into the name, that the group has really found a solid signature: Surf noir with sprinkles of deliberately scrappy girl-group soul. Hinds delivers sunshine with a sneer, like an inside joke that sounds pretty funny from an outsider’s perspective—until you start to fear it might actually be you who’s the subject of their snickering.
There’s a couple of other previously released nuggets also revisited in the mix, like “Chili Town” and “Bamboo.” Their returns are wholly welcome, though: Offhand pop jams like that never get old, and they’re especially fitting when joined by the the rest of the breezy, swaying demands for everyone who’s not Hinds to scram.
The popularity of the quartet has exploded exponentially at this point: They’ve amassed more than 38,000 Facebook likes and 12,000 followers on Twitter, and they’re pulling press from basically every major outlet. Despite that, they haven’t changed a thing in terms of their viewpoint. Hinds choose the title Leave Me Alone, they say, as a reflection not of the album’s content, but the DIY, do-what-we-want M.O. they outspokenly live by: “Nuestras mierdas, nuestras reglas.”
“It’s a way of saying, ‘Look, we do it this way. Because it seems right to us, because we like it,’” says vocalist and guitarist Carlotta Cosials during an interview at the Remezcla office. With their rise to fame, they’ve had to surrender some control over artistic decisions about the band, something that inspired the cheeky album title. “It’s about remembering that we can do this. This is what we want to do. Es mi mierda. What I want to do might be shit, but it’s mine, so I do it the way I want,” elaborates bassist Ana García Perrote.
Leave Me Alone, then, is sonic proof of that ethos — and it’ll likely inspire you to adopt the same adage in your own resolutions, not only for this year, but always.