Ask any band and they’ll tell you: making your second album is fucking hard. If making your first is as painful as getting kicked in the nuts, the second is giving birth. To twins. Upside down. You’ve got to make something that people really like and connect with again, but all you’ve done for the last year is tour and do interviews and tour and rehearse and tour and play festivals and tour. When you tour and tour and tour, what have you even got to write about?
But after mere minutes with three quarters of the relentlessly enthusiastic Hinds, I’m not surprised to hear that they didn’t suffer the sophomore slump: they’re a band not short of a thing or two to say for themselves. “While touring, we were vomiting all that experience into an album,” Ana Perrote says, all elbows and red jumpsuit as she lounges over a canteen table in West London. She’s flanked by fellow singer/guitarist Carlotta Cosials and bassist Ade Martin, bright-eyed and giggly after spotting Eddie Redmayne on the Kensington streets earlier that day. After their 2016 debut Leave Me Alone, the Spanish four-piece are back with an album that’s as clever, energetic and endearing as their first – but with a more knowing slant. They’re older, they’re wiser and they’re road-worn.
So rather than scraping the record out of themselves, yanking it painfully from their brains and panicking that no one would remember them, the band found the whole thing came together pretty painlessly. “It was easy because we all wanted the same,” Ade says. “We didn’t have to talk about it. We never sat down and said, ‘we’re going to plan what we’re going to do.’ We were all on the same page.”
“We’re the opposite of people who are like, ‘We hate our record, we can’t listen to it.’ We’re our own fans.”
Not that there weren’t challenges to contend with between record one and record two. The band burned themselves out taking their energetic girl-gang live show on the road. Touring “had more good things than bad things” Carlotta says, but the transient lifestyle took its toll on each of them, to the point where two minutes locked in a toilet was the lap of luxury. “We could talk about the bad things about being on the road for the whole evening if you wanted…” Although adjusting to life off the road and luxuriously long toilet times took a while too: “Horrible, it really was horrible,” Ana says with a shiver. “It felt like we didn’t belong anywhere anymore, we didn’t have any purpose. We had vertigo when we were at home – like, we have three more months of this!? It was really frightening to face real life.”
But face it they did, and the result is the defiantly named I Don’t Run. The band’s second full-length really “represents what we were feeling and what we wanted to feel”, Ade tells us. They also wanted to subvert the bro-y rock’n’roll clichés of living fast, dying young – “It would be more rock’n’roll to be against those kinds of things,” Carlotta says with a laugh. “We liked the idea of not running – the first album, everything was in a rush so this one we really wanted to take our time to do the little details so it’s also related to that. We’ve taken our time to do this whole thing.”
In fact, marrying that slowed-down process with their own insatiable eagerness to share what they’d been working on was probably the hardest thing about making I Don’t Run. Trying to stay off socials and keep new songs under wraps until they were fully ready didn’t come naturally. “Writing a record makes you really impatient to put it out,” Carlotta explains, her gestures echoing that restlessness as she talks. “The nature of writing something and not being able to just put it online the day after… The album is more about ourselves and I’m proud of that.” In typical Hinds fashion, I Don’t Run has a ramshackle air about it – riffs and beats tumble over each other, vocals are defiantly imperfect and as a band they’re resistant to the trends for synthesised undertows, super polished production or psychy guitar effects. “We’re perfectionists in our own imperfection,” Ana explains. “Someone asked me the other day, do I like the record? And it’s not just that I like it but if I wasn’t in the band, it would be one of my favourite records. For real.”
“We’re the opposite of people who are like, ‘We hate our record, we can’t listen to it’,” Ade sums up. “We’re our own fans.” And boy are they not alone.