Kindness, ‘Otherness’ – Awesome!

Kindness' new album, Otherness,  available now.

Kindness’ new album, Otherness, available now.

Pooneh Ghana/Courtesy of the artist

It takes audacity to name your debut album after the seismic Eddie Kendricks song “Girl You Need A Change Of Mind,” a seven-minute soul classic with an extended breakdown and build-up that made it one of the earliest disco records. But the lanky Brit Adam Bainbridge had a firm grip on his influences for 2012’s World, You Need A Change Of Mind, an album that touched not only on disco, but also on ’80s boogie and R&B, Frankie Knuckles-indebted house music, D.C. go-go, and even The Replacements (with a dance remake of “Swingin’ Party”).

Bainbridge doubles down on that ’80s sound for Otherness. “New feelings we begin again / Old endings we begin anew,” he sings in “World Restart,” which from its compressed drum machine to its honking saxophone sounds like a lost track from 30 years ago. Midway through, he’s joined by fast-rising R&B singer Kelela, who sounds like one of the Mary Jane Girls circa 1983’s “All Night Long.” But the feelings behind the song revive those staid sounds and make them sound refreshed.

From there, Kindness pulls from various earmarks of that era, be it the go-go bells that power “This Is Not About Us” or the elegant piano that flows through “I’ll Be Back.” Rapper M.anifest joins in for “8th Wonder,” name-checking Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” in his verse. And when Kelela returns in “With You,” the track at one point peels back to a synthesized breath, a brief homage to Art Of Noise’s classic single, “Moments In Love.”

Much like his musical compatriot (and fellow Brit) Devonté Hynes did on Blood Orange’s sublime Cupid Deluxe, Bainbridge draws on assists from friends. Beyond the album highlights with Kelela, the sputtering backbeat, rubbery slap-bass line and church organ of “Who Do You Love?” gets a big lift from Swedish singer Robyn, who infuses the song with her pop effervescence. Hynes himself lends a hand in “Why Don’t You Love Me,” which evolves from a heartbreaking ballad to sensuous R&B to great effect. It hints that Kindness might change and advance yet again.

 

Kindness – Otherness

 

 

 

Kindness – House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kindness (Adam Bainbridge) – “Otherness” OCT 13 UK / ROW / OCT 14 N. AMERICA

Kindness - Otherness

Kindness – Otherness

 

Kindness is the solo project of British singer Adam Bainbridge. His debut album, World, You Need a Change of Mind, co-produced by Philippe Zdar was released on 16 March 2012.

In 2007, Adam Bainbridge was a recipient of the Eric James Johnson Memorial Fellowship, at The Philadelphia Institute for Advance Study.

Live in Philly was Adam Bainbridge’s contribution to the Eric James Johnson Memorial Fellowship program. It consists of an album recorded during his stay at the Institute in May 2007, and a small pamphlet illustrating the work, typeset by hand. Employing a variety of musicians from the Institute and the rest of Philadelphia, as well as sound sources and records found or recorded in the city, the Kindness album is a personal and welcome contribution to the Institute’s body of work.

—The Philadelphia Institute for Advance Study,

Live in Philly was released in 2007 as a free MP3 download and CDr, with no label.

In 2009, Moshi Moshi Records released Kindness debut single Swingin’ Party. Gee Up was included on the vinyl b-side and a VHS video directed by Jack Latham accompanied it.

In October 2011, Cyan was released as a limited edition 12″ vinyl through Kindness’s own record label Female Energy in the UK and Terrible Records in North America. The B-side contained 3 unnamed lock grooves.

Kindness’s debut album, World, You Need a Change of Mind, co-produced & mixed by Grammy Award-winning producer Philippe Zdar was released on 16 March 2012. Live sessions were recorded for Radio 1‘s Zane Lowe and Rob da Bank as well as 6Music’s Lauren Laverne, Live from Maida Vale.  Kindness also played the iTunes Festival 2012.

In 2013, Kindness contributed to production and instrumentation on Blood Orange’s Cupid Deluxe.

As a live band, Kindness has performed at a number of festivals and headline shows through the world including South by Southwest, Latitude Festival, Printemps De Bourge, Sydney Opera House, Primavera Festival, Field Day Festival, Eurockennes, Calvi on The Rocks, Oya Festival, Way Out West, Flow Festival, Summer Sonic, Bestival, We Love Green, Les in Rocks Festival, Midi Festival, and Soulwaxmas.

In May and June 2013, Kindness supported The xx as part of their Night and Day Festival in London and Berlin.

Adam Bainbridge has directed and co-directed a number of videos for his own Kindness project as well as for other artists, including Grizzly Bear, Blood Orange, and William Onyeabor:

 

Adam Brainbridge of Kindness

Adam Brainbridge of Kindness

 

Artist Song Director(s)
Grizzly Bear “Don’t Ask” (Final Fantasy Version) Adam Bainbridge
Kindness “Gee Up” Adam Bainbridge
Kindness “House” Adam Bainbridge & Dan Brereton
Kindness & Trouble Funk “That’s Alright” Adam Bainbridge
Kindness “36 Hours in the Go-Go Scene” Adam Bainbridge & Pauline Beaudemont
Blood Orange “Chamakay” Adam Bainbridge
William Onyeabor “Fantastic Man” Adam Bainbridge & Camilla Wasserman
Blood Orange “Uncle ACE” (Kindness remix) Adam Bainbridge

 

Discography

Studio albums

  • World, You Need a Change of Mind (16 March 2012)
  • Otherness (13 October 2014)

Singles

  • Swingin Party” (28 September 2009)
  • “Cyan” (26 October 2011)
  • “SEOD” (8 February 2012)
  • “Gee Up” (16 March 2012)
  • “House” (15 June 2012)
  • “That’s Alright” (21 September 2012)

Remixes

  • “Blood Orange – Uncle Ace” (Kindness remix feat. Robert Owens) (10 April 2014)
  • “Röyksopp & Robyn – Monument” (Kindness remix feat. Busiswa) (15 August 2014)

 

To pre-order the album:

ITUNES / AMAZON / KINDNESS

Kindness (Adam Bainbridge): ‘World, You need a change of mind’

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In an ideal world, this bio would be about two lines long. Ninety-five per cent of everything you should want to know about a new artist should be in the record.   ~Adam Bainbridge (Kindness)

Kindness – World, You Need a Change of Mind

Kindness is the solo project of British singer and musician Adam Bainbridge. He released his first single, a cover of  The Replacements’  “Swingin’ Party” in August 2009.  Kindness’ debut album, ‘World, You Need a Change of Mind’ was co-produced, recorded and mixed with the Grammy Award winning Phillipe Zdar (Cassius / Cut Copy / Phoenix / The Rapture / Kanye West) at Zdar’s studio in Paris and was released through Modular on March 23.  He has performed at South by Southwest  and Latitude Festival.

Kindness’ recorded work bears the fingerprints of no specific scene, no particular country, no certain era. It’s pop music but it’s slippery and enigmatic, sounds slick yet underground.  The New York Times  calls his music “moody and sexy”.

Touted by NME as the next big thing, his sound has recognizable reference points. From the leftfield disco of Walter Gibbons, the cosmopolitan rhythms of Grace Jones and Tom Tom Club, to the frictionless 80s R&B of Alexander O’Neal, all swirled around with the blurry Polaroid pop of Ariel Pink.

The emergence of indie dance music is the most recent step in a long progression of reconciliation between generally divergent worlds. Largely, indie scenes have flirted with dance music as a byproduct of, or in mixtures with, rock — take the post-punk/dance-punk revival of a decade ago. By design or not, they’ve been sonically segregated, and any engagement by the indie rock world with dance-floor culture has felt almost apologetic.

“Hive Mind” is an impressive achievement, fluent in a range of dance styles: Ital nails spacey techno on “Floridian Void,” and broken-down house music on “Israel.” You get the sense that in Britain, an album like this would get far more attention.

That’s why the Kindness album is potentially even more radical, even though it’s more pop-friendly. Kindness — born Adam Bainbridge — arrives at the same musical solution as Ital, but from a different direction. His album was produced with Philippe Zdar, of Cassius, the king-size French disco nostalgists. For the album, all the songs — both those Kindness released independently, and also the new ones — were rerecorded with Mr. Zdar’s assistance.

The album’s high point is “Cyan,” which is elegiacally pretty and slinky smooth. Kindness sings wistfully and woozily and beneath him the music is moving purposefully, with robust snares and hazy synthesizers. It is thoughtful disco homage, replacing only the genre’s high gloss with a layer of D.I.Y. indifference.

But even though the Kindness album feels deliberately small, it fits neatly with the broader tides of British pop. It’s at home alongside the streak of gothic electro-pop now coursing through British music, bubbling up from below, and it intersects cleanly with the longstanding heavy presence of dance music — the tackier sort, but still — on the British charts.

Adam Bainbridge lives and works in London.

Watch: Kindness – House
Be prepared for an onslaught of slinky smooth, wistful and woozy sounds as he hits the road with label-mates Tom Vek and Jonathan Boulet. In the meantime, get to know Kindness a little more with this video directed by Partizan’s Dan Brereton.

World, You Need a Change of Mind – Album tracks
01. SEOD
02. Swingin Party
03. Anyone Can Fall In Love
04. Gee Wiz
05. Gee Up
06. House
07. That’s Alright
08. Cyan
09. Bombastic
10. Doigsong

Studio albums

  • World, You Need a Change of Mind (16 March 2012)

Singles

  • Swingin’ Party (28 September 2009)
  • Cyan (26 October 2011)
  • SEOD (8 February 2012)
  • Gee Up (16 March 2012)
  • House (15 June 2012)
  • That’s Alright (21 September 2012)

Videos

Song Directed by Date
Gee Up Jack Latham 2009
Cyan Ben Fries 2011
Gee Up Adam Bainbridge 2012
House Daniel Brereton & Adam Bainbridge 2012
That’s Alright Adam Bainbridge 2012

Sources: YouTube, Wikipedia, Google (photos), New York Times