Here's to Hinds & Our Collective Sisterhood
Updated: Jan 2, 2019
Written by Ida V. Eskamani
Being a woman is hard. Regardless of who you are, where you live, or what you do, women endure systematic discrimination and dangers. Women operate in a reality where sexual harassment, assault, and predatory behavior is expected, accepted, and absolutely our fault. We face double standards, glass ceilings and double-shifts, and have been raised to believe that we operate among limited resources: finite opportunities that we must compete for against other women. As a result, not only are we terrified of walking to our cars at night; we’re taught that through it all, we can’t even trust other women. This is the patriarchy in action, its impacts often further exacerbated within marginalized communities. It’s astonishingly prevalent, exhausting, and disheartening.
Arriving to a music venue I know all too well Monday evening, exhausted and disheartened certainly describes my state of mind. Dr. Blasey’s Ford’s indomitable testimony, and the thousands of women who shared their stories, mobilized, and protested Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States is inspiring and represents a critical juncture in women’s liberation. Even so, I’m left with a sinking feeling in my chest because despite the trauma endured and the powerful truths told, it may still not be enough. The President of the United States has been accused of the same behavior himself with zero repercussions, while victim-blaming, slut-shaming and flagrant double-standards are bolstered by our most powerful leaders.
It is within this context that I found myself at a show in Orlando, with my friend Chris. Then, enters Hinds. Consisting of Carlotta Cosials (vocals/guitar), Ana Perrote (vocals/guitar), Ade Martin (bass/backing vocals) and Amber Grimbergen (drums), Hinds are often cited as one of the hardest working bands in Spain. In an industry dominated by male-artists and traditional expectations, Hinds is all-women group playing sold-out shows around the globe and earning enormous accolades, and they’re doing it on their own terms.
In an industry dominated by male-artists and traditional expectations, Hinds is all-women group playing sold-out shows around the globe and earning enormous accolades, and they’re doing it on their own terms.
Released this April, their second studio album I Don't Run fills our empty vessels with rebellious exuberance. Effervescent surf-esque vibes dominate the album, paired with rebellious girl-gang vocals we adoringly yearn for from Hinds. As the title contends, the band does not surrender nor sugarcoat on this record. The subject manner is honest and fearless as the artists bear all, detailing broken relationships and the painful process of putting the pieces back together. They do so with infectious tracks that emanate resilience. Their stage presence was a manifestation of these qualities.
With palpable anticipation and a churning fog machine, Hinds literally leapt on stage. This is their first time touring Florida, and they’re kicking it off in Orlando. With warmth and confidence, Cosials introduces the band to a riveted crowd: “We’re Hinds from a place called Madrid, and we’re here to show you some fucking rock n' roll.” They dive head first into their set with audacious passion. In between sets they were completely themselves; embracing their roots, speaking in both English and Spanish on stage. Grimbergen is legendary on the drums; Cosials a master shredder on the guitar. I had no doubt in my mind that this was going to be a good show; what I failed to understand was how good this show would be for my soul. Throughout the set, the bandmates checked in on one another with knowing eyes; at one moment in-between songs, Perrote lovingly wiped running mascara away from Grimbergan’s eyes. These women were authentically themselves, and exuded an enduring sisterhood that left my heart full of joy, pride, and hope.
Even before Hinds catapulted on stage, there was a special energy in the space, cultivated by the men on stage. As if providing a nod of recognition to the supportive men in women’s lives, both opening acts consisted of men who showed immense gratitude and respect for their headliner. As a Florida girl I’m pretty proud, because these two Florida bands slayed. Hailing from Cocoa Beach, Dunies did right by every surf-rock fan; creamy harmonies paired with crashing guitar licks— you could smell the sunscreen and feel the internal angst.
Mustard Service calls Miami home, and based on their performance, all five bandmates are talented musicians in their own right. Combining forces, they cultivate a dynamic sound referred to “zest pop,” the same name as their newest record. Mustard Service’s set was pure magic. Every song was completely new to me, yet I was immediately hooked. They ended with a love song dedicated to our revered headliners: Frankie Valli’s 1967 single, "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" (a song adored by hopeless romantics like yours truly, emphasis on the hopeless part). With the trumpet blaring (I’m a sucker for a solid horns section), the entire crowd sang with pure elation “I love you baby!” Later on, Hinds would invite Mustard Service to join them on stage as well, for a raucous jam and a beautiful moment of musician solidarity.
Experiencing a show centered around four powerful women who embrace their quirkiness, their sexuality, their passions, and one another was exactly what my disheartened soul yearned. I’m exhausted of having to fight for basic dignity. Exhausted of feeling scared walking in my own neighborhood. Exhausted of the always reliable catcalls, of quadruple-guessing every single outfit. I'm also exhausted of the ripple effects this unequal system has on people or color, working people, and queer people. Hinds reminded me of the strength we find in our struggle, and the unconquerable power in sisterhood.
Women are often characterized as weak and fragile, but after a year of #MeToo, Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony, along with thousands of women sharing their stories of assault and trauma, I contend that a few things have become abundantly clear. Women are courageous, resilient, and even though we never wanted to be, we are fighters. I also know that together, women will win.
Here's to Hinds, and to our collective sisterhood.
Ida is an Iranian-American from Florida who grew up with the Beatles, and came of age in the pit. She will talk to you about music for as long as you will pretend to listen. She is founder of Bandifesto, a little blog with a big heart.