Kindness – Otherness

The one man “indie disco-funk” band delivers a delightfully mellow album with his latest release. Otherness is a varied album featuring a number of collaborations with those including Kelea, Ade, Robyn, Devonte Hynes, Tawiah and Manifest.

Adam Bainbridge splits his time between London and Berlin and the influence of both cities can be found throughout Otherness.

Kindness has often been compared with the likes of Talking Heads, and in tracks such as ‘This Is Not About Us’ it can be seen why.

The tone of Otherness varies from that of the heavily funk-laden ‘World Restart’ to the lullaby-like ‘Geneva’. The latter of which is a track that could be seen to contain gospel influences and one that’s melody steadily washes over the listener in waves. ‘8th Wonder’ even includes rapping from Manifest, a segment somewhat at odds with the rest of the album. It is this variation that makes Otherness such a great album. Bainbridge refuses to limit himself and exhibits everything from a wonderful trumpet section in ‘World Restart’ to some truly excellent synth in ‘It’ll Be Ok’. Stand-out tracks of the album include ‘World Restart’, ‘Who Do You Love?’ and ‘It’ll Be Ok’.

‘It’ll Be Ok’ is a more complex track that carries slightly sinister connotations with lyrics of: “Now you know the facts/And you’re on your own/I’ll be all you need”.

For the most part Kindness’ new album is calmly melodic; something that is especially reflected in ‘For the Young’, ‘Why Don’t You Love Me’ and ‘I’ll Be Back’. Bainbridge’s lyrics are nothing ground-breaking with ‘I’ll Be Back’ featuring “Don’t you cry/’Cos I got you” and a continuous refrain of “I’ll be back again”. However, it isn’t his lyricism that makes Kindness a great act but his skilful creation of unusual melodies. Tracks like ‘Who Do You Love?’ (featuring Robyn) are complicated in style and yet delivered with ease. Kindness always avoids the potential pothole of appearing to be trying too hard. Like the kids at school who shunned the clique hierarchy and were that much cooler for it, Bainbridge does what he wants and nails it every time.

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