By TYLER ROSS
It helps to point out that Adam Bainbridge is more artist than just musician. He’s spent the better part of a decade studying fine art and design in London, winning prizes along the way for his drawing skills. Now, Bainbridge has turned his artistic attention to the music scene with the release of his debut album, World, You Need A Change of Mind, under the moniker Kindness.
In the video for “Gee Up,” the first single off of World, Bainbridge sits on the set for the production of the video. Assistants make awkward sexual advances. A francophone Exec rants. Bainbridge himself even steps out of from behind his artistic façade, holding up the record and announcing its release date. In doing so, he acknowledges the murky line between art and consumerism.
But that’s not the strangest moment of the movie. As two men talk on the set, one states, “I kind of like it. Lo-fi with hi-fi values.” “Would’ve been better two years ago though, wouldn’t it have?” the other responds.
This is notable because Kindness’ music doesn’t relate to a specific genre or sound–-lo-fi or hi-fi-–nor does it harken to any one time period. For an album that lasts only forty minutes, World, You Need A Change of Mind covers a lot of ground. There’s the funky disco of “Doigsong,” akin to Toro y Moi. There’s a cover of the Replacements (“Swinging Party”) and the EastEnders theme, “Anyone Can Fall in Love.”
Despite such concrete references, as a whole, World, You Need A Change of Mind works incredibly well as a singular piece of music. The album floats by like a hazy Spring day lost somewhere between coffee and joints. Bainbridge effortlessly transcends genres and eras with a wide range of sounds and ideas from the ironically gentle thwomp of the bass on “House” to the catchy female hook of “That’s Alright.”
It can be frustrating when artists such as Brainbridge and Kindness lack an easily identified style or objective. Like a rock climbing wall devoid of any holds or a roadmap with no roads, a direction may be unclear. Sometimes though, it’s better to step back and admire the piece as a whole, such as with World, You Need A Change of Mind, an album so lush and beautiful, yet so short, that it takes you on a ride and delivers you exactly where you want to be, whether you know it or not.