Despite making some progress over the years, mental health issues still remain somewhat of a taboo subject with far too many people suffering in silence than seek help. Hindsights frontman Benio Baumgart faced his feelings of anxiety and depression head on when writing music with his band.
“Pretty much everything that I’ve been releasing through Hindsights has been about that,” says Benio. “Is it therapeutic for me? Absolutely, let’s say I don’t think I’d come across as level-headed if I didn’t do this. I don’t think there was a particular reason behind it, I just started writing those lyrics as a release for myself.”
Although it would prove a huge help for Benio himself, it is clear he didn’t actively set out to make music to exorcise his own demons, not at first any way. Hindsights formed from other bands that fizzled out, and Benio – along with fellow guitarist and vocalist Billy Hutton, bassist Miles Hay, and drummer Jack Parry – found each other due to a mutual love of Brand New and the humble hopes of following in the footsteps of bands that made up their Maidenhead scene. As the band started to write material, Benio found himself writing songs to help him come to terms with his struggles. And despite the heavy subject matter that informs their debut full length Cold Wars/Cloudy Eyes, it’s juxtaposed with an unfaltering pop sensibility reminiscent of Weezer.
“It’s just something that happened in the writing process,” explains Benio. “We’re all pop heads. Billy’s always got that Carly Rae Jepson album on in the van, and I’m actually a really big Taylor Swift fan.”
It’s these factors that help define Hindsights amongst an ever-growing emo revival. A tendency for those catchy melodic moments, while Benio’s lyrics are delivered with a raw and tangible emotion that is far more affecting than songs written about missing an ex-girlfriend. This openness is ever-present in their live shows, and despite baring his soul, the young frontman doesn’t feel any pressure at being so open about his personal issues in a public setting. It’s something that has seen more and more people warm to the four-piece, and if their music encourages other people to find help in addressing their problems, then all the better.
“Now people know [what the songs are about], it’s a lot easier. I think if people didn’t know they’d catch on any way, or I’d go nuts,” laughs Benio. “We’re loud and emotional and a lot of people seem to like that. I wouldn’t say we’re doing some kind of therapy for people, but if people want to take that from the album, then I’d be happy about it.”
Hindsights’ debut album is out now through Beach Community and they’ll tour the UK through March. You can find out more on the band’s Facebook page here.