Kindness: “Otherness” Album Review

Written By: Mandi Lauren Nowitz

Twitter: @3icecubes

Though it sounds like a band name, Kindness is actually a pseudonym for which Adam Bainbridge goes by when he does his solo projects. Originally from England, the electronica/disco and synth-pop artist has performed on large scales such as South By Southwest, the Sydney Opera house and the Apollo Theater in New York as part of a charity show, opening for Blood Orange. Never one to shy away from who he is, Bainbridge has been very open about his sexuality, which was apparent when he spoke at the Red Bull Music Academy: “If you’re a racist, if you’re homophobic, you shouldn’t be allowed to work in the music industry. The music industry is based on the talents of non-white people, of people of queer identity. That’s where so much good music comes from…I look around this room and I see non-white faces, I see women, and I’m happy to see you here, but I’m going to tell you, it’s going to be tough. It’s still not a smooth ride.” Bainbridge’s honesty is a reason why artists like Robyn are desperate to work with him as he is also a producer and musician.

 

One glance at Kindness’ blog and it is also apparent that he is very into giving back, offering advice to aspiring musicians who tweet him and displaying a bevy of scholarships available for those who need the assistance. But, how does his music, mainly his album “Otherness” fare? “World Restart” which features Kelela and Ade, almost has a Robin Thicke vibe with a heavy jazz background and he’s got this young Barry White vibe to his smooth vocals. Lyrically, it is incredibly relatable: New feelings we begin again, old endings we begin anew. Old feelings hold you back again. Restart and take my hand. New feelings we begin again, old endings we begin anew. Old feelings take me back again. Let go and begin anew.” And he could not have gotten two better vocalists to accompany him. This is the best way to start and album.

Kindness follows that track up with “This Is Not About Us” and suddenly I find myself entranced by his voice, so soft, velvety, somewhat desperate but definitely kind. “Said it’s you & me for life. Something seems between us. Stay the distances if you mind. Tell me what’s so different. Say it’s you & me for life, time seems to me lost. Tried my best to prove you right. Tell me what’s so different?! Don’t wait out. Changed my mind, about us. You should find someone new, not me.”

And then, he ends with “It’ll be Okay” and you have felt this wave of calm float over you and it has been this extremely personal experience between the artist and the listener because that is how amazing Kindness is. His sultry voice blocks out the world with a sexiness that is hard to come by, without force. Chills and an ability to relate is what “Otherness” brings you and I thank Kindness for being a unique artist who just gets how to entertain fans but be seemingly genuine to himself.