‘Sophomore syndrome’ refers to an instance in which a second, or sophomore, effort fails to live up to the standards of the first effort. It’s an ailment that strikes the most hopeful of bands, yet there’s one Spanish four-piece we suspect has found immunity. Hinds – made up of Carlotta Cosials, Ana Perrote, Ade Martín and Amber Grimbergen – blew onto the music scene in 2011, soon achieving international success as they supported the likes of The Strokes, Libertines and Mac DeMarco, and became the first Spanish band to appear on one of Glastonbury’s main stages.
That was all before the release of their debut album Leave Me Alone in 2016, and nothing’s slowed down for them since. “It’s been crazy,” said vocalist and guitarist Ana Garcia Perrote. “The first six months after we released the first album, we were getting the wildest news every week, whether it was from a UK record label or being featured in the press or being booked for a show in Paris or something. And each week’s news was better than the one before – it just kept coming. We never dreamed this could happen to four girls from Madrid.” Since then, they’ve shared stages with Albert Hammond Jr and many more internationally renowned acts in their globetrotting run, each show renewing their awe and dedication to their craft. Released 6 Apr, I Don’t Run is Hinds’ return, with renewed maturity picked up from their time on the road and an honest reflection on a period that changed their lives beyond their wildest imaginations. They’ve never professed to being error-free, and they’re all the more brazen for it having survived everything that’s been thrown at them: world tours, sold-out crowds, harsh criticism, sexism, and all that lies in-between. As a result, Hinds have become better musicians, tighter friends and tougher characters – and their latest album more than demonstrates that.
I Don’t Run shows the quartet push themselves to be bigger, better, faster and far more direct with their lyrics, their sound helped by the likes of Gordon Raphael (The Strokes, Regina Spektor) and Shawn Everett (Alabama Shakes, Perfume Genius, The War On Drugs, John Legend). It’s the product of a band fighting to keep their place in the music world, unwilling to rely upon their existing successes. It’s also the result of the industry’s belief in the band, as these four women from Spain had access to far more resources (and time) than with their debut. “We loved making this album. After touring for so long, when we finally had time off we already knew what we wanted for this album, and how we were going to do it. It was really nice for us to be able to be like, ‘ok, we want to make this kind of song’ and having the time to be able to make it exactly as we wanted.”
Fortunately, the added belief instilled in them from their label came without strings, meaning any pressures placed on these four girls from Madrid came solely from the band itself. “I don’t think we had like pressure from the outside at all. You will always have your own pressures because you want to make the best of the thing you can do.” It also allowed Hinds to learn from their mistakes at their own pace, and absorb knowledge from other acts. “We learned a lot over the last few years. When a band starts, they tend to have songs that are only for playing live – you are not supposed to release the first songs you write, which is what we did for Leave Me Alone.”
It’s for this reason, perhaps, that I Don’t Run feels less of a sophomore effort, and more like the band coming into its own. As Ana said herself, the lyrics and sound has matured more in the last two years than before, the first single from the album New For You demonstrating this perfectly with the lyrics “sometimes I see myself and I can’t stand my show” before singer Carlotta Cosials promises her best self for the chorus. “We wrote the songs on our first album when we were like 19/20. When you are that young, I think two years is life changing. This time round, there are less metaphors – we’re much more direct and braver in this album. We’re not worrying about being misunderstood.
“This is a new start for us and we’re fucking ready.”
HINDS come to Brighton’s Concorde 2 on Fri 20 Apr.