This is “Add to Queue,” our attempt to sort through the cacophony of music floating in the algorithmic atmosphere by consulting the experts themselves. Our favorite musicians tell us about their favorite music—the sad, the happy, the dinner party-y, the songs they want played at their funeral. In this edition, we speak with Ana Perrote, one-fourth of the Madrid-bred indie rock band Hinds. Upon the release of their third album, The Prettiest Curse, Perrote recommends the Clash, Barry White, Foxygen, and a whole host of Spanish bands you should probably be listening to. ¡Ole!
GRACE HALVORSON: What was the last song you listened to?
ANA PERROTE: This morning I was listening to The Clash. There’s this song that I found that I didn’t know about. It’s called “Police On My Back.” I was listening nonstop.
HALVORSON: Who was the earliest musician to influence you?
PERROTE: I think it was probably The Velvet Underground. I remember when I was a teenager listening to “Heroin,” and thinking, like, “Wow, what must they mean by this lyric?” “Wow, is it really heroin? Just thinking about how mad it was that you could make a song that gets so famous that is so openly talking about taking drugs. And obviously the sound—their sound really got me. It was something about them being so raw that really connected with me.
HALVORSON: Growing up in Spain, do you listen to other contemporaries of your own band? Are there other Spanish-speaking bands in the U.S. or in Spain or anywhere that you feel are peers sonically, who utilize the same types of indie, punk blend and incorporate Spanish?
PERROTE: I think it’s very funny when people that are not Spanish sing in Spanish. For example, I really like when Devendra Banhart does it. There’s this French band that’s called Futuro Pelo and it’s really funny because sometimes they mix it up and I love it as well. There are a lot of Spanish-singing bands that I like from Spain, but I don’t think, sonically, are that similar to us. Los Nastys, for example, we’ve been fans forever and best friends. Or Los Punsetes or Mujeres or Carolina Durante. There’s a lot of garage, punk-sounding bands from here that are super cool, but obviously, because we moved a little bit from the garage for the new record, I wouldn’t know a band to recommend.
We didn’t have one album that we were like, “Okay, we want to sound like that.” Which sometimes we did wish we had, because it’s so much easier when you have things clear. We didn’t know if it was going to sound more like an analog all rock record or more rap or pop. We kind of took a little bit from everything. I remember having the first meeting when we’re talking about the record and they were like, “Okay, so what do you like? What are you guys listening to?” We’re like, “We’re all over the place. We’re listening to Tame Impala, we’re listening to Marta [Sánchez], we’re listening to these Spanish bands that I just said, we’re listening to The Clash.” We were a little bit overwhelmed. You can’t imagine a sound until you hear it or until you make it.
HALVORSON: What was your first concert?
PERROTE: This is a proper guilty pleasure. I don’t know if you will know what it is, but anyone from Spain or South America, I think they’ll know. There was this kind of soap opera for teenagers. It was called Rebelde Way. I used to love Rebelde Way, and I went with my cousin when I was maybe 12 or something to one of the biggest stadiums here in Madrid to see them. And that was my first contact with live music.
HALVORSON: If your life were a TV show, what would the theme song be?
PERROTE: I would love it to be “Cheek to Cheek” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. I don’t think at all that would be the case because I’m always fucking running and stressed and it’s some mad life that I live, but I would love it to be “Cheek to Cheek” if I could choose it.
HALVORSON: What’s your favorite movie soundtrack?
PERROTE: It’s the Wes Anderson movie where they’re all in a train. The Darjeeling Limited. I fucking love that soundtrack. I also really like that movie that Alex Turner did the soundtrack of—Submarine, it’s called.
HALVORSON: Who is your dream collaborator?
PERROTE: I would love to do a collaboration with someone that raps. I love Vince Staples and I like Little Simz and Rejjie Snow. And actually, some of them are friends and we’ve talked about doing it, but everyone is so busy that we never do it.
HALVORSON: What’s a song that always puts you in a good mood?
PERROTE: “In The Mood” by Glenn Miller and his orchestra.
HALVORSON: What are some songs and artists that you might put on a dinner party playlist?
PERROTE: Like a buffet where you’re standing up or a proper sitting down dinner?
HALVORSON: You can decide. Whichever you’re more likely to be at.
PERROTE: I’m going to say more like a chill thing where it’s more fun and you’re talking loud and drinking at the same time. I would put “Police on My Back” by The Clash, “Burnout” by John Eatherly, “Kiss” by Prince, “I Wan’na Be Like You” by Robbie Williams, “Disparate Youth” by Santigold, “Swamp” by Futuro Pelo, and “Dream Girl” by Anna of the North.
HALVORSON: How about a playlist that you would play or that you would write for yourself for crying in your bedroom?
PERROTE: “Glass in The Park” from Alex Turner is part of that playlist I was telling you about. I’d have that entire [Submarine] soundtrack. Then “Ya No Te Hago Falta” from Sen Senra. He’s a Spanish artist that I really like. Then I like some oldies, like Cat Stevens or Bob Dylan. When I feel serious about a feeling, I think I’ll go to Chavela Vargas, “La Llorona.” That would be the one.
HALVORSON: What songs do you listen to when you’re feeling stressed that help you calm down?
PERROTE: I have this playlist for that, actually. The first song is “Cheek to Cheek.” And there’s some Barry White, “You’re The First, The Last, My Everything,” “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” “Tous Les Garçons et les Filles” from Françoise Hardy, “My Way” from Frank Sinatra, “Ain’t Got No” from Nina Simone, “Your Song” from Elton John, “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” Elvis Presley.
It’s this super cool playlist that Carlotta [Cosials] made one day when we were driving. We were touring in America and had a day off, and we went to a river and swam with our opening band, these amazing guys from a band called Goodbye Honolulu, and our tour manager Fiona, who’s the best at trying to find a tiny second for us to just jump in the water or to actually do human stuff and not just be sitting in the van. She somehow scheduled a fucking incredible natural splendor day where we were swimming in a river with a waterfall and stuff. And after that, we went to an Indian restaurant—like 20 people sitting down—and, to me, it was one of the highlights forever of touring because it was all fun and freedom.
HALVORSON: Do you have a go-to karaoke song?
PERROTE: “I Will Survive.” I don’t know why, but it cheers me up so much.
HALVORSON: Do you sing in the shower?
PERROTE: No. And I wish I did. Even when we’re on tour, when we’re showering right before a show, I always warm up before my shows. So I’m like, “It would be awesome to start warming up in the shower so I can do two things at the same time.” But I hate it. I don’t know why. It doesn’t flow. Maybe it’s just my body telling me, “Hey, take a chill pill and fucking enjoy your shower.”
HALVORSON: Is there a song you play in the morning to wake up to?
PERROTE: Maybe something from of Montreal. I like that cheerful energy for waking up. Or “San Francisco” from Foxygen because that’s a nice introduction to the day.
HALVORSON: Is there an instrument you’d like to learn how to play?
PERROTE: Yeah, keyboards. I’m on it, actually, because I found myself in a very funny situation where I was randomly at a friend’s house and she had a synth and I started playing, and I was like, “Wouldn’t it be fun to learn how to play synth?” And then she was like, “Your birthday’s in a couple of weeks and no one knows what to give you so why don’t we just give you a keyboard and you learn how to play.” So that happened. And then we left to the studio and recorded the album which is very strong on synth and pianos and stuff. Suddenly, I found myself with one month to learn how to play all those songs live. It was motivation.
HALVORSON: Why do you feel like this album is so much heavier with the keys and the synth than others?
PERROTE: It just kind of happened naturally. The first record was pretty much like, “Oh my fucking god, I’m in a band, I’m going to record the album as I can because I’m new with all these things.” It was a very baby DIY punk-sounding album, which I love. It was the first time we were in the studio. And then the second one was a clear picture of a band that had been touring for fucking ever and seeing a lot of bands and going to festivals and just playing. So it was a proper rock album where we were each playing our instruments, and we wanted to make a point of not adding absolutely anything else. We wanted to get out of our comfort zone and try different things. And because none of us plays keys, it was definitely a way of getting out of the comfort zone.
HALVORSON: Is there a song or an album that you think, if everyone heard it, would change whole world?
PERROTE: “The Prettiest Curse” from Hinds. My manager would be very proud of me.
Listen to Ana Perrote’s “Add To Queue” playlist below, and follow Interview on Spotify for more.