Album Review: ‘Leave Me Alone’ by Hinds

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There is something ever so powerful about an all-girl rock group. They’re a little intimidating, but in the best way, like they’re ready to fight anybody who crosses them. They look as if they hold each other’s secrets deep down inside of them, locked between their red lips. As cool as they are, it also seems a little bit like their scrunchies are the only things holding all their pieces together. I love how contradictory they are, like they’re constantly balancing a fine line between wishing they’d said something to some person and wishing they could take back everything they’ve so bravely uttered. Hinds are the embodiment of this. They’re the epitome of the cool-girls-next-door kind of group, and their music reflects that. Their debut album, Leave Me Alone, is some of the most fun, relatable music I’ve heard in a while, and I needed to share just how wonderful they are.

I was instantly interested in Hinds. They’re effortless and cool, the kind of girls you wish you could be friends with because they probably have crazy ideas at all times of the day. They seem as though they just want life to be as good as it possibly can be. They also look pretty badass carrying their instruments, and the idea of a Spanish girl band intrigued me right away. I started listening to them and I was obsessed within about three seconds. Their accents shine through as they sing, their rough-around-the-edges vibe is perfect, and I’m a sucker for beachy garage rock. It was a match made in heaven.

Leave Me Alone is a collection of songs about love and all the weird, awkward feelings that come along with it. The lyrics are very plain and simple, not shrouded in metaphors or fancy wording that sounds like it’s trying too hard. Both lead vocalists bring something different to the table, giving the songs a melodic, layered sound that works incredibly well, and when it comes to harmonies, they go above and beyond. It’s a beautiful thing to hear the product of two singers whose voices melt together in such an insane way.

The album starts off with ‘Garden,’ a track with a long instrumental opening that slowly fades into sultry vocals that seem to drip out of your speakers. The song slowly builds into a chorus with honest lyrics like “I feel like I’m freezing again” before softly fading out and into the next tune. From there, the album doesn’t really stop or lull until the sixth song, an instrumental intermission called “Solar.” I could swear that that song sounds exactly like shining stars and an orbiting sun. It’s soft and nostalgic, and it allows for a perfect break within the record.

And that’s where the album gets really good. The songs about love and longing and mistakes start up again with “Chili Town,” whose chorus simply repeats “all I’m asking for is for you to make a move.” “Bamboo” follows, continuing the aching, yearning vibe with pleading, honest lyrics that ask “why are you on my mind?” “San Diego” is a triumphant pop song. Words are yelled into the microphone and instruments are played lazily, creating a mish-mash of sounds that turns into one of the most fun tracks on the album.

Everything gets slow again with “And I Will Send You Flowers Back,” a questioning tune that could probably soundtrack those cheesy moments in almost every rom-com when the lead characters start slow-dancing with one another in the kitchen or the living room or the middle of a street. “I’ll Be Your Man” is a hazy and smoke-drenched promise to make life good for the one person you want to be with more than anything. The final track, “Walking Home,” is perhaps the most simply said expression of love on the entire record. A minute in, the melody changes to the kind of music that makes your heart thump loudly in your chest because it’s just that good, and it dies out in a mess of repetition of the line “you’re the love of my life.” It’s a beautiful exit, as if the band spent the whole album finding ways to get around saying “I love you” and now they’ve finally accepted that they might as well get straight to the point.

Leave Me Alone is an infectious, crazy mess of sounds and voices. And for some reason, that works really well. The fact that it sounds as though it was thrown together in a day or two gives it charm and soul that is hard to find within the streamlined, exceptionally produced albums that we’ve become accustomed to. You don’t miss the polished vocals or perfectly played instruments because they’ve been replaced with something raw and real that makes your heart feel full. It’s an album that I’ll be listening to for months to come, simply because of how wonderful it makes me feel. And when music does that for you, you know it’s good.

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