‘The Prettiest Curse’ is a chronicle of complicated love stories, unbridled independence, and a final say on the band’s identity as women in a band. You guessed it; Hinds are sick of explaining themselves, instead they are taking control of the narrative. Laden with catchy guitar riffs and a rhythmic bass line, opening track ‘Good Bad Times’ is a statement of departure. Ditching their previous fuzzy lo-fi, gritty rock attitude, Hinds mix slick vocal melodies and vulnerable lyrics to offer a standout album intro.
Kicking off with a funky bassline and drum pairing, ‘Just Like Kids (Miau)’ is a track oozing with satire. Singer-guitarists Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote playfully string along their vocals as they offer lines with an edge: ‘Can I tell you something about you and your band?’ to ‘You’re too pink to be admired / And too punk to be desired’. With its open season lyrics on industry sexism and mansplaining, it’s no surprise the track made it as a single.
A third into the album, ‘Riding Solo’ laments on feelings of loneliness and homesickness; ‘If I get sentimental, it’s ’cause I fucking miss home / Yeah, I’ve been riding solo’. The lacklustre shoegaze single hits its redeeming arc late in the game as the song closes out on sweltering guitar riffs and overlaid lyrics that break away to a hectic instrumental outro.
If previous albums ‘Leave Me Alone’ and ‘I Don’t Run’ taught us anything, it’s that Hinds have the undeniable ability to pen a frenzied love song. This is a band unafraid of wearing their hearts (or lyrics) on their sleeve. Threaded with leading hooks, Spanish lyrics and signature riffs, ‘Boy’ gradually builds into an open anthem of love. Undeniably the underdog of the album, the song climaxes as Carlotta’s vocals echo across the bridge, as the band’s instruments creep in, swirling, to create a chaotic cosmic mosaic of indie-rock dream pop.
Next, ‘Come Back And Love Me <3’ quickly sobers listeners as an acoustic leading ballad with tooth-rooting sweetness. While ‘Burn’ breaks away from the romantic dream, the song revisits the band’s full throttle, angsty, free-spirited energy. The garage-punk song is jam-packed with unhinged aggression as the women refuse to play by the rules; ‘I cut my tears and killed those fears / I wanna tell my girls how we are fighting in this man’s world’ which quickly leads to ‘We didn’t come here to please you, my dear’. A song which strongly pushes back on authority, the band continue to establish themselves as their own creatives.
‘Take Me Back’ is a song with a giveaway title. With no uniqueness behind its name, the track offers a chewed-up version of the experimental sound that permeates the record; it’s dialled back, safe, yet somehow still connivingly charming. ‘Take Me Back’ is a song that truly skates by on its style.
Closing out the album, ‘Waiting For You’ is surprisingly unconventional as it struggles to keep up with the rest of the record. That said, ‘The Moment Forever’ gives us the guitar needled, emotionally delicate, credit-closing finale we could have only dreamt of.
‘The Prettiest Curse’ is an unfiltered image of female angst, romance, and chaotic youth. There’s no doubt the album is a testament to the band’s staggering progress, and it is Hinds’ best work yet.
READ MORE: Hinds interviewed: “When you face a crisis, it activates a new part of your brain“