Little Mix And Hinds Made Our Weekend In Music

Let's get weird this new year.

By Patrick Hosken & Emilee Lindner

Here we are, three days into the New Year, shoveling leftover red-and-green M&Ms past our chapped lips and into our shriveled, post-champagne bellies, wondering how we're going to carry through with the resolutions we made before we entered into 2016.

Patrick wants to run 300 miles this year. I want to at least make it to the gym today. But I think, collectively, we both want to dig deeper into music this year, not only selfishly swimming in our new finds and old favorites, but sharing it with others -- hence, why we're running this "Our Weekend In Music" post every Monday.

So, let's start this year off with two great songs, shall we?


Hinds: "Bamboo"

Almost exactly a year ago, a surfy-sounding Madrid four-piece made a career move that, at the time, could've been either genius or fatal -- they switched their name from Deers to Hinds (after another group threatened legal action). And here we are, freshly plunged into 2016, with Hinds premiering their debut album, Leave Me Alone, on NPR Music a week ahead of its release and everyone who's heard even a snippet of it ambling around with their jangly melodies inside their heads.

The coolest part for me about Hinds is the way the lyrics can pack so much and yet be sung in a half-slurred (or an odd yelp). The words stick around because of the strange unfolding melodies and the wonderfully lazy guitar lines underneath them. And then a few hours will pass, and you'll find yourself singing "I'm not always gonna be around" the way one of the prominent lines on "Bamboo" goes. It lodges itself somewhere in you. You keep singing.

I know, it's January and it's getting cold. "Bamboo" sounds like July, or maybe it sounds like a spring fling? But it reads like someone getting fed up with one, and that's Hinds' greatest trick -- making you walk away from a song feeling like a million bucks while knowing the band who wrote it might've felt kinda crappy composing it. "I need you to feel like a man when I give you all I am/ I know you're not hangover today, you are classifying your cassettes." Ah, yeah. That feels good (even though it kinda hurts). --Patrick

Little Mix: "I Won't"

After packing up my cat in the rental car, I grabbed two CDs out of my childhood bedroom for a five-hour drive back to New York City -- Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, an album a bought around this time last year, and a thrifted favorite, Bjork's Post. I tossed them in the console and instead decided to scroll through some gems I had on my phone (surely, Panda Bear would put me to sleep, and the glitches always make me think something's wrong with my car). I settled on Little Mix, because Get Weird was one of my favorite pop albums of the year.

I was excited to share Get Weird with my punk-loving s/o because I'm always trying to get people to cross the bridge to pop music -- and Get Weird is as pop as it gets. I went into full detail about this album when it came out in November, but since then, I've been able to spend more time with it.

The standout from the LP is not just the Cyndi Lauper-tinged "Black Magic," but a B-side: "I Won't," the first deluxe track. It starts simply -- a basic, staccato MIDI piano plays below the chorus. But soon enough, the hand claps come in, and, if I've learned anything from studying music, hand claps have the ability to make everything cheesier and more uplifting. The claps in "I Won't" do the latter.

As we begin 2016, you might need a boost to get into those resolutions. Listen to the breakdown in "I Won't" as you step into the gym -- "Hold your head up, see the daylight/ hold your head up, cuz your future's looking bright" -- and try not to clap along. 2016? We've got this.

- Emilee

Let us know what you listened to this weekend, and we'll check it out!