Along with a handful of like-minded bands — most of which are their friends — garage-pop quartet Hinds have taken their Madrid hometown scene international. They worship Americans like Thee Oh Sees, Black Lips, Ty Segall, and Mac DeMarco (Hinds has called him their “God of music”), eschewing complex compositions for high-energy rabble-rousing. It all sounds like a big, hedonic, sunny party — young urban libertine living for the modern age. Most similar bands don’t get out of Spain too often, so when Hinds hit Warsaw Friday with Cold Fronts and Navy Gangs, they’ll be there on behalf of all their friends.
Hinds have had the most success crossing over into the US — their four photogenic members have graced the pages of the New York Times and Rolling Stone. Founding members Carlotta Cosials and Ana Perrote met through their boyfriends, and decided to start a band on a spontaneous road trip through the Spanish countryside. They’ve since ditched the boys but have been inseparable themselves ever since. They started as a two-piece called Deers before a legal threat from husband-wife duo the Dears convinced them to translate the name to Spanish. They dropped their jangly debut LP, Leave Me Alone, earlier this year; it was produced by their good friend Diego García, whose band with Alex de Lucas and Larry Balboa, the Parrots, has also made waves (albeit smaller ones) outside Spain.
The Parrots met at university in Madrid, and in authentic slacker fashion they began playing music together as an excuse to skip class. The girls in Hinds are all friends of theirs, and in addition to producing Hinds’s full-length, Garcia recorded and mixed their first demo. He was inspired by the Chicago DIY scene he’d soaked up during a year abroad in the U.S., and was motivated by seeing plenty of American kids not so different from himself starting bands just because. They share a lot of influences with Hinds (including the Monks, the Groupies, 13th Floor Elevators, Buddy Holly, and Elvis), but on vocals, Garcia does his best to channel Jonathan Richman, whose predilection for singing in broken Spanish gives Garcia the confidence to do the same with English. On the band’s Heavenly Recordings bio, he admits “When I first heard Jonathan Richman singing in Spanish, I loved it. He gets it all wrong and that has so much charm.”
The bands in the Madrid scene place a premium on hanging out, and in Madrid that means drinking cheap booze in the street and loitering outside bars. Garcia once told Paste that they even have a nickname: “Here in Madrid, they call us ‘cats,’ because we are like street people,” he says. Some of their other friends include Los Nastys, one of whose members lives with some of the Parrots. They claim Madrid as home base but are originally from Tomelloso, Spain, and got their start around the same time as The Parrots. They’ve have had as much influence on Hinds as any band, but they also just released their debut LP this year. Luli Acosta, who has been playing with them recently, used to be in another Madrid garage rock band, Los Wallas, who do their best channel the Sonics by way of millennial Brooklyn. They’ve got a pretty good handle on that vibe, so here’s hoping they—and all of the rest of their friends in Madrid—make it out this way before too long.