To try and define the musical output of Kindness would be nothing less than an insult to the man behind the guise, Adam Bainbridge. The best way to describe the sound of Kindness, is to consider it musical alchemy – fusing together long-cherished snippets, accumulated across his years.
You need look no further than his latest sprawling single ‘That’s Alright’, which is built around a sample of go-go band Trouble Funk’s ‘Still Smokin’ from 1985, to begin to understand. Yet this is no vain hommage, Kindness is about re-imagining those influences, using the soundscape of the past to feed the present.
Peterborough-born Bainbridge picked up his magpie approach to music from his parents; his dad was a DJ who loved Isaac Hayes as much as he did the Beatles, whilst his mum had a love for all things bluesy.
Hiding behind a wall of long brown hair, Bainbridge is a lithe tower of a man whose music is as much a research project as anything else – exhibited by the fact that in 2007 he was artist-in-residence at Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Study. During that month long residency, Kindness’s first tentative steps were taken as Bainbridge recorded around a dozen tracks during his time in the US.
Once that month was up he decided to move to Berlin, and after failed attempts to find a singer, he tentatively took on vocal duties as well. Following a series of what he describes as “very lucky breaks”, he eventually teamed up with Phillipe Zdar of Cassius-fame. The producer and artist hit it off immediately, developing an extremely strong understanding of one another. Debut album ‘World, You Need a Change of Mind’, which was released this spring, is ten very eclectic but ultimately delightful tracks, complimented by Zdar’s masterful and complimentary production.
Now outfitted with a live band for the first time, Bainbridge has hit the road. Having already toured Australia and this summer’s festival circuit, that refreshingly hard to define sound is finally set to arrive in London, with Heaven playing host to Kindness on 7th November (Tickets are available here). But be warned; you would be advised to act quickly, as this display of musical purity is sure to sell-out.
At heart, an individual obsessed by pop music, Bainbridge is taking forgotten and often unloved rhythms of our past, recycling and re-tuning them into something greater than the sum of individual parts. In the true spirit of the pop industry, reinvention and rejuvenation have heralded something clever and exciting. Kindness is an artist to be watched, and watch him you should.
‘World, You Need a Mind Change’ is out now on Polydore.