I’m sitting in an O’Hare terminal. I’m tired. I’m sad. I’m unlovin’ this airport McDonald’s and as I look down at my new Hinds t-shirt I remember why my chest is heavy, as if the pink font itself weighs a ton. I am sad because I was happy, which I know sounds dumb but is currently the only way I can describe this feeling. I love music and am truly passionate about it so I am always sad when a show is over. The feeling when the band walks off and the lights come up. Crushed beer cans flattened to the floor, stains on your shoes and the pull on your skin from a sweat-soaked shirt, but this time it is something different. There is something else in play and I’m trying to hunt it down.
I came across Hinds in 2014, a four-member lo-fi garage pop outfit comprised of Carlotta Cosials (guitar/vocals), Ana García Perrote (guitar/vocals), Ade Martín (bass) and Amber Grimbergen (drums). The group was born in 2011 when Cosials and Perrote came together as a simple two-guitar duo. The two best friends then pulled their other best friend, and manager at the time, Martin, into the fold as bass player and went on the search for a drummer they would find in another friend, Grimbergen. I know the use of the word “friend” seems repetitive there but it is the common joint that forms this band and what makes them different. They were friends before taking the stage, before they recorded a full-length debut LP, before they played Glastonbury and Bonnaroo and Reading and Leeds, before they went on a world tour, and before they played “In the Round” at Thalia Hall, Chicago on a crisp Monday night in October, and because of this you witness something you don’t experience all the time. You get to stand an arm’s-length away from four genuine, best friends living their dream and sharing it with you, and how anyone could see this and not be filled with joy is beyond my comprehension.
Since I found Hinds I have tried to dissect what it is about them that I love so much. Apart from being talented musicians, creating a unique sound and engaging you with such a charming stage presence I’m convinced that the final piece of the puzzle comes back to this enjoyment of what they do and how it can be heard in their sound and seen on their faces. The call-and-response vocals of Perrote and Cosials are only driven home that much harder when Perrote explains in between songs that many of their tunes are about love and since she is facing Carlotta on stage she feels like she is telling her how much she loves her. Cosials then shoots her a wink and an “I love you too,” the crowd bursts into applause and cheers and the four amigas crash back into their set with the song Chili Town.
Given the young age of the band itself you are given the experience of hearing their debut album “Leave Me Alone” in near-entirety with the exception of two songs (“I’ll Be Your Man,” “And I Will Send Your Flowers Back,”) that, by my summation, were too “slow” for the set. In their place were the songs “You Never” and a Dead Ghosts cover of “When It Comes To You,” that they have since released on their new Holograma EP which I highly recommend, and songs from their Very Best of Hinds so Far, such as “Davey Crockett”, which serves as a perennial show stopper and closer with its Ramones-esque chorus that the whole crowd takes part in.
So, I’ll leave it at this. Don’t go see Hinds if you don’t want to live the teenage daydream of being in a band vicariously through four head strong women. Don’t go see them if you don’t feel like dancing. Don’t go see them if you don’t want to kiss a stranger (at Cosial’s urging mid-show). Don’t go if you don’t want an unconscious smile glued to your face for sixty minutes. Just don’t go if you don’t like having fun.
TL;DR Hinds at Thalia Hall, Chicago
Can you dance? It’s encouraged.
How much Spanish should you know? Enough to chant “One more song.”
Will you fall in love with the band? More likely than not.
Will you have a good time? If you don’t then you’re probably miserable anyways so don’t sweat it.