If frolicking on a warm beach in golden light with your best friends had a musical equivalent, it would have to be the debut album from Hinds. Though the Spanish quartet is said to be at the forefront of a growing indie scene in Madrid—a city much better known for many other things—Hinds could have just as easily grown up in a garage a few blocks from the ocean somewhere in southern California.
Co-fronted by Ana Perrote and Carlotta Cosials—who started the band as a duo called Deers before recruiting Ade Martin and Amber Grimbergen and, for legal reasons, changing their name—Hinds play shaggy rock ’n’ roll with a casual, shambling feel. Perrote and Cosials trade lead vocals, and they often give the impression they’re singing through broad smiles of amazement at how much fun they’re having. Their enthusiasm carries over to Martin and Grimbergen, and the quartet plays with a sense of joy that feels genuine and anything but cynical.
The songs are loose-limbed, full of meandering guitar and off-kilter vocal harmonies. Opener “Garden” burbles along on a trebly, reverb-saturated guitar riff and a simple rhythm, while “San Diego” is an instant garage classic with a deconstructed girl-group feel, thanks to fuzzed-over surf guitar and intertwining, occasionally overlapping vocals from Perrote and Cosials. While the up-tempo songs are invariably bouncy, bubbly fun, the slower jams sometimes lay bare the limits of the foursome’s elemental approach. “Chili Town” plods through noodling guitars, and though “I’ll Be Your Man” starts out promisingly, with sultry vocals over acoustic guitar and woodblock percussion, the aimless electric guitar that wanders around over the top waters down the playful French-pop vibe and starts to seem sloppy.
But precision isn’t the point. Hinds makes music that is very much about capturing a mood and evoking a feeling: namely, those youthful, carefree times that loom large in our memories, or maybe only in our fantasies. In that way, Leave Me Alone manages to be a nostalgic album that nevertheless lives in the moment. It’s a moment worth celebrating.