Michael Lovito

Hinds‰’s 2016 LP Leave Me Alone is far from their first release; the Madrid-based quartet has been releasing music as far back as 2014, which makes their designation as “Best New Artist‰” a little dubious. However, 2016 is certainly the year that Hinds broke, turning a bunch of heads in the first week of January with a collection of songs too catchy to deny and to listen to just sitting down. A U.S. tour followed, and the legend of this perky lo-fi outfit that spread good cheer and good jams wherever they went continued to grow and grow. In a year that saw its fair share of disappointments and darkness, a group like Hinds trekking around the globe rolling out their fuzzy sonic confectionaries was just what the world needed to keep itself from going completely insane. Even their songs about relationships gone bad, like “Easy,‰” come packaged with a sense of humor and contagious hooks that make them as delectable as their more upbeat cuts.

While Hinds embraces the shambolic lo-fi aesthetic of artists like Mac DeMarco and the Black Lips, they replace those artists‰’ ironic detachment with an infectious sense of fun and innocence. Nowhere is this more evident than in “San Diego,‰” a song that invokes blinding yourself with recreational drugs and yet is still as sunny and carefree as an afternoon jaunt on the beach. It‰’s that appeal we see in Hinds‰’ in studio performance of “San Diego‰” at KEXP. After they‰’re done bouncing through the song, the KEXP host expresses his admiration. “Watching you, there‰’s just this joy, I can see you love the Hell out of doing this, and it really makes me happy to see…take me with you, wherever you’re going.‰Û

I assume he was referring to their impending tour, but sign me up as one of those people who want Hinds to sweep them away to the scruffy, carefree paradise they seem to have spawned from. There‰’s a certain aspiration in Hinds‰’ music to a very simple form of pleasure, the kind portrayed on the cover of Leave Me Alone. Beers in hand and tongues exposed, it‰’s a celebration of what we insufferable millennials call “chasing your bliss.‰” Hinds have found a way to professionalize hanging out and messing around on guitars, and the world is now better for it. Until we can all achieve such peace and joy, we‰’ll have to live vicariously through Hinds. And you know what? I‰’m ok with that. If this past year is any indication, Hinds may take us there sooner rather than later.