Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Hinds - Leave Me Alone (Lucky Number)

I'm as guilty as anyone for overusing the phrase 'keenly anticipated' when it comes to receiving albums from my favourite bands but, in the case of Hinds' debut, it's an appropriate cliche.
Hinds were a two-piece from Madrid known as Deers when they first came to our attention back in 2014.  Their single 'Bamboo' made the Dandelion Radio festive fifty of that year.  Since then, their infectiously shambolic indie pop has won many more admirers and they've changed their name and expanded to a four-piece.
'Bamboo' features as one of twelve songs on a debut album that we hoped might see the light of day last year but are more than happy to welcome into the world now in order to light up the dark, if suspiciously warm, early weeks of 2016.  Given the expectation surrounding the release, some disappointment might have been understandable.  Could a band with such a great line in one-off off-kilter tunes really stretch their appeal over twelve tracks?  We needn't have worred. Leave Me Alone comfortably delivers on the promise of those early singles while revealing perhaps surprising depth and variety in places.
Of course you'll know some of this already, if you've been paying attention.  Along with 'Bamboo', the album also includes the delightful 'Castigados en El Granero', from their 'Barn' single, which arrived back in November 2014, while two tunes came out as preview singles late last year, the somewhat less frenetic 'Garden' and the effervescent 'San Diego'.
I'm playing the latter in my Dandelion show this month.  It's a classic example of how this band's infectious enthusiasm adds a sparkling edge to everything they touch and one of the things that makes the album such a delight.   Perhaps unexpectedly, it's not the only thing, however.  There's a curious reflectiveness in many of the album's other highlights - in 'Fat Calmed Kiddos', for instance, or 'Chili Town' - something entirely absent from those early releases which adds unexpected depth to their sound. 
Expecting a riotously unhinged party of an album, I was taken back by this originally but such tunes add much to the album's lustre and I realise, gratifyingly, that there's more to Hinds than had originally met my eye and a lot in the tank for future musical adventures.  I say bring it on.  But, for now, Leave Me Alone will be more than enough.
Get it on LP or CD here

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