I want to give people another choice,” says Adam Bainbridge, the artist who records and performs as Kindness. “There’s a lot of great, direct contemporary-sounding pop music to choose from, but even the most mainstream of mainstream audiences might also want something that sounds different from time to time. I still love and appreciate pop music, but I’m happy to leave the people making it to get on with their thing. My motivation is: ‘What do I feel I can do better than anyone else?’ I hope I’ve made that record.”
Happily, he has. On Otherness, Kindness has fully honed his talent for taking in myriad influences and making music that sounds utterly new, perhaps even timeless. The album offers the thrill of accompanying Kindness as he stretches out into a thousand new places, but it also has a message at its heart: In a world where one can make music, in virtually any style, using software alone, we are losing sight of how special it can be when artists get together to blow some air around a room.
Otherness is about the embrace of the spontaneous, about the natural and verifiable magic that occurs when real musicians get together to make music. Listening to Otherness, you’re made aware again and again—by a noise, a note, a sound, an atmosphere—that this is real people interacting with each other, each one shaping the song in a way that one person left to their own devices couldn’t possibly match.
And that, in essence, is what Otherness is all about: each person reaching in to share something real that perhaps they themselves didn’t know was in there. Making – and listening – to music should be a profoundly moving experience, but we have to be willing to share something of ourselves to take part. And if you can’t remember the last time you did that, then Otherness might just be exactly what you need.