Why Manchester is the new creative epicentre of neo-soul and hip-hop
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Hinds can, to date, be relied on for their combined exuberant, humorous, fun-loving personalities, as much as their rowdy music indebted to both garage and punk. Hinds formed in 2011 as a duo previously called Deers but were forced to rename themselves following a dispute with a Canadian group of the same name. “This is sadly the most official post we’ve ever made,” they said on their Facebook, with a sigh of resignation that crossed the "nuestras mierdas, nuestras reglas" (translation: our shit, our rules) maxim by which they live. Such a minor setback could have breached their spirit, but not Hinds. Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote (singer-songwriters and guitarists), Ade Martin (bass), and Amber Grimbergen (drums) found more of their elixir for another tour of the world while recording a debut preoccupied with the essence of youth and resistance. As the title suggests, 'Leave Me Alone' is a thrilling ride that will charm you with rebel-rousing purpose and the dynamic interplay of Cosials and Perrote's adolescent lovelorn songs.
In late November, I called Carlotta the night before the group flew to China to play a handful of dates across Asia. True to form, there's a lot of commotion in the background when she answers, so she escapes the noise and opts to stand outside their AirBnB in Hackney, London. The apartment serves as their surrogate home for the week as they finish a promotional trip to the U.K. "We've cooked pasta every night and invited our friends around for beers," she says while waving off visitors from their haven. Less plush, but equally loveable, I picture the place to have the same atmosphere and bonhomie as John, Paul, George, and Ringo's house in Help! – a house of comings and goings, with plenty of laughter.
But, Hinds want to do more than be the cut-out posters on your walls. As well as discovering Hinds' inspirations for 'Leave Me Alone,' my conversation with Carlotta initially centered around their experiences of sexism in the music industry; propagated by the subject matter of the record and a widely documented comment from Apple Music's Jimmy Iovine. Days before our conversation, Iovine stated during an interview that "women find it very difficult at times – some women – to find music," for which he later apologised after extensive criticism. Seeing that a day earlier, Carlotta had already shared their thoughts, I told her that I had watched the video of her response to Iovine's remark while adding she was "glad that so many people have [watched the video]."
I know you've spoken about it recently, but I want to ask you further about sexism in the music industry. Does the album's title comment on any personal experience playing as Hinds?
Carlotta: "We're a baby band, and we've never been in bands before Hinds. A lot of people have tried to help us; give us their opinion, and call it advice. Sometimes they speak to you like they're above you: they look at you and think, "Oh, they're girls; they have no idea what they're doing," but it's precisely the opposite.
We know every little thing that is going on with Hinds. We have total control of everything we do so don't talk to us like that or try and change us. That's why the album is called 'Leave Me Alone'. We're young, and we'll listen to you, but we're probably not going to heed to your instructions [laughs]."
So rather than giving you guidance they were telling you what to do?
Carlotta: "Exactly! It's so easy to get lost and miss the point of what you want to do. Because of this, it's easy to lose the perception of what you wanted to do in the first place. It's the sad reality."
I could hear the messages in the lyrics on the album, especially Bamboo and I'll Send Your Flowers Back.
Carlotta: "I'm glad you did. I'll Send Your Flowers Back is my favourite one."
You recorded the album with Diego from The Parrots who you've called your older brothers in the past.
Carlotta: "The Parrots have helped us in so many ways, but without them knowing it. We've watched them play shows and been our imagined teachers. When we started the band, Diego recorded our songs, and I'm so happy to know them."
They're the people you want to hear advice from.
Carlotta: "Yeah, but at the same time, I don't think that they listen to us! I forgive Diego, though."
When you recorded your first demo, it was just you and Ana, right?
Carlotta: "Yes. We recorded five tracks by ourselves. We met Amber the day after recording the songs, but we already knew that we needed more people."
You and Ana met through your ex-boyfriends – are any of the songs about them?
Carlotta: "We met in 2009, so it was over six years ago. Ana and I are still best friends and don't hate each other, yet. You know what, we have no idea what they're doing with their lives right now [laughs]."
Check out Hinds' influences in the gallery above. [N.B.: We asked for ten influences, but Hinds sent eight because they had little time. Their shit, their rules.]
Hinds release their debut album 'Leave Me Alone' on January 8th through Lucky Number Music (pre-order).