The Prettiest Curse is the third album from Spanish band Hinds, who have gone down the slightly predictable path of incorporating synth into their sound, as many bands have done prior. But this is not to say that the record is any less interesting, in fact, the band may have gone slightly more pop but they definitely still rock.
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Hinds have always made music that is uplifting, even when they made garage and punk rock it always managed to feel like a celebration of the sun, music enhanced by the brightest season. They use synth as if it were crafting epiphanies of orange amongst blanket blue skies. The way it aligns in tandem with Ana and Carlotta’s vocals on the chorus during ‘Boy’ creates a detox from any pent-up tension you might have had, and it feels liberating.
Similar to The Big Moon, Hinds project the girl gang as being incredibly inviting and inclusive. Listening to them gives you an ecstatic energy, you can’t help but feel empowered with the sense of community created by the band. Throughout the album there is a sense of good times lost, they miss previous relationships, but any sense of vulnerability is projected alongside an unmoving strength, “I’m getting stronger about falling apart”. They tackle sexist preconceptions head on and make a mockery out of mansplaining, particularly in the music industry where some men seem to have a deluded authority over any female artists.
The guitars are not in the background forever, coming to fruition as the album goes on, whether it be with the bracing grip of punk or an acoustic track to break up an album that flies through its runtime. The dynamic between Carlotta and Ana is as strong as it’s ever been, both capable of kicking and screaming in frustration, yet also mellowing out and relaxing for a little while.
This is the most consistent album Hinds have made so far, synth feels like a natural fit for them and they use it with the vibrancy suggested by the array of colours shown on the album cover. Their anger and ferocity is channelled into resilience and smart, quotable lyricism. It is a hard task to not be overcome by engaging, passionate energy whilst listening to The Prettiest Curse.
The Prettiest Curse is released on 5 June 2020 via Lucky Number.
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