With The Prettiest Curse (2020), Madrid-based quartet Hinds (Carlotta Cosials, Ana Perrote, Ade Martin, and Amber Grimbergen) shrug off any remaining lo-fi accusations and unveil a dizzyingly widescreen beast of an album, not so much a shift as a quantum leap in their evolution as a band. This is a record positively bursting with life, with the band finally harnessing the full extent of their pop prowess and unleashing songs which sound bigger, bolder, and more complex than anything they have done before. Which isn’t to say they have turned their backs on “being Hinds” – quite the opposite in fact!
Here, they double down on what, precisely, makes them so special – the bright melodies betraying heart-breaking themes of isolation and betrayal, the empowering, don’t mess with us all-girl gang glow – while going even further. For the first time, they prominently sing in their native tongue, plus on the artwork they work with a childhood hero, the Spanish photographer Ouka Leele with magical results. You know how people say that a drop of balsamic vinegar makes strawberries taste more strawberry-ish? Well, On The Prettiest Curse, Hinds sound even more Hinds-ish, and the results are marvelous.