Brit singer's lonely no more
It’s not surprising to hear Adam Bainbridge describe his work as Kindness as “postmodern collage.” The UK singer/songwriter is often portrayed as (and sometimes criticized for) taking an academic-research-based approach to his soulful pop.
After all, he did record his 2007 Live In Philly album as part of an artist-in-residence program at the Philadelphia Institute for Advanced Study, and he accompanied his 2012 debut studio album, World, You Need A Change Of Mind, with a documentary on the Washington, DC, go-go scenes.
To Bainbridge, the best path to finding new sounds is through understanding the past.
“You have the option now of combining sounds from every era,” he says from a tour stop in Portland. “Even just combining a horn sound from the 50s with a vocal sound from the 80s and drum sound from 2010: that’s already going to be something new.”
That drive to find new possibilities is part of what led him to record his second album, Otherness (Mom + Pop), with a large cast of collaborators that included Robyn, Kelela, Devonté Hynes, M.anifest and others.
“The first record I wrote all on my own, so I didn’t feel like I needed to do that lonely thing again. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to making an album on my own again, actually.”
His collaborators aren’t responsible for the biggest shift in his sound, though. Whereas disco rhythms grounded his debut, on Otherness the beats are less focused on the dance floor and owe more to slower 80s R&B. Turns out that spending too much time in clubs can push your music in the opposite direction.
“Don’t DJ too much or it might put you off kick drums for a while. During the first record, I’d been stuck in a disco and early-house wormhole for a few years. When it came to this one, I was still playing a lot of disco and house in clubs, but my private listening side was getting slower and more melodic.
“Now that I’m DJing less, I’m coming back to club music again because it’s not being pounded into me every weekend. I think the third album will be somewhere in between the two.”
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