Photos by Lauren Khalfayan, polaroids by Grace Eire.
At 2:30 on Thursday afternoon, Hinds is recovering from a night off in Brooklyn. They’re sprawled out on a pale tan leather sectional in the very blue green room on the second or third floor of Warsaw. Carlotta is peeling a clementine, Ana lying down, Ade sleepily slouching in a hoodie, and Amber pacing the room fighting off a bad hangover, accepting a helping of Tums from a member of her team. The quartet is in rough shape because they’d gone out to see Arctic Monkeys the night before at Brooklyn Steel, and then, as far as I can tell from Instagram, to what looks like the best bar in Brooklyn, Rocka Rolla (or at least a similarly divey bar). When Lauren and I walk into the room, though, they perk up to say hello and do their job.
Immediately, Ana recognizes me from the handful of times we’ve seen each other and gives me a tight hug, which surprises me every time. It shouldn’t, though, because all four of these women are the kindest, most sincere type of human. Most Spaniards I’ve met are the same way – in my humble opinion, they just know how to live and be better over there. Carlotta pulls up a chair for me to sit, offering, “my home is your home,” ready to turn on, ignore the hangover, and answer my questions. I wasn’t there to ask questions, though, just to catch a glimpse of the band in the quiet light of day, when they aren’t actively solidifying themselves as rock stars on stage or living up to the hype when they go out to party after the show. All we asked for was a few snaps against a the blue wall, and each of them effortlessly delivered pure gold.
If you don’t know Hinds, they are a rock band from Madrid, Spain. They do things their own way and do it well, with purpose. They write songs in their second language, English, because they’re clever enough to know that us Americans and the deciders of the music industry haven’t been educated to understand other languages.Their sound is entirely their own, with the distinctly bright voices and garage guitar prowesses of Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote backed up by Ade Martin’s driving bass and Amber Grimbergen’s precise drums.
While they waited for sound check, the band then took a quick nap.
I met Hinds a few years back, when they were playing one of the many dark scuffed up Lower East Side venues with a mutual friend’s band. The green room was in the basement, down narrow stairs, possibly through a kitchen, and tucked away in a room full of pipes and other bands’ marks left on the walls in the form of sharpied messages and stickers. They were talking about boy problems and shaking off pre-show nerves like most young bands do. They didn’t have a team of managers, photographers, publicists, and label reps handing them hangover cures or ushering press into the room. They hadn’t toured the world multiple times over or played for huge festival crowds – they probably hadn’t crowd surfed yet. I don’t think the rooms had been full enough to do that.
May 9th at Warsaw, Ana, Ade, Amber, and Carlotta celebrated a sold out show in New York by giving each other piggyback rides around the soon-to-be packed venue. They powered through a post-nap/pre-manicure sound check sprinkled with technical difficulties with true professionalism and grace. In spare moments, Ade and Amber checked their phones to connect with their friends and family back home, and afterwards, Ana embraced her Brooklyn-based boyfriend, who’d brought a bottle of champagne for later. They showed off their new merch covered in cobras (which I’m wearing right now), and headed back upstairs.
This band of young women from Madrid has awoken something in their swiftly growing fan base. They bring such a good energy to any room they’re in. They are so rightfully confident in what they can do, and it shines through in how cleverly they’ve taken every step from playing tiny LES venues to selling out Warsaw.
Part of what people love so much about Hinds is that they seem like, and are, a fucking blast to hang out with. They know how to party but they don’t let their success destroy their connection to each other and to what’s most important to them: making good music, being strong, relentless females in the music industry, and putting on shows that will go down in history. The show at Warsaw did just that.
Everything about Hinds’ stage presence works. From their outfits – which seem simultaneously carefully and quickly chosen – to their confidence, to the bloody lips from diving into the sea of fans, to the technical proficiency on their instruments and vocal performances, you really don’t want to miss the next live show that Hinds plays in your town. It doesn’t matter if you want to mosh or watch from the back, you’ll feel the energy in your core and you’ll be smiling the whole damn time. By the end of it, you may just be drenched in Champagne from the bottle Carlotta sprays into the crowd in celebration, saving just enough to share between the four of them.
In essence, though, Hinds haven’t changed at all as they’ve grown. From the beginning, they wanted to create something super special, oozing in passion and raw energy. Their garagey sound may have evolved over the years, but they still have their hands on every step of the process. Their new album is a reflection of their hard work and talent, from the songs themselves, to the videos, art, merch, and promotion. They’re four self-made rock stars from Madrid, living in crowded apartments with their closest friends and living their truth. I can’t wait to see what they do next, and then how they’ll top that with something even cooler.