Kindness – Something Like a War
Kindness' new album Something Like A War is at its best when it embraces its flexibility
“There will be people who will say / You don’t mix this with that / And you will say: watch me.” The bold, spoken-word introduction then opens out into Sibambaneni’s strident orchestral manoeuvres before flowing straight into the classic house pulse of Raise Up. It’s a passage that helps to sum up the personal journey that Adam Bainbridge, better known as Kindness, has undergone over the last couple of years. Recorded mostly at the beginning of 2017, their third album Something Like A War reflects new-found confidence, interweaving a range of emotions with a similar breadth of styles.
Something Like A War is at its best when it embraces its flexibility with musical styles in an uninhibited melange of sound. Amongst its range of vocal collaborators – from singers Jazmine Sullivan and Cosima to rapper Bahamadia – Bainbridge wraps varied yet cohesive melodies. Everything from funk-inflected bass to smoky brass and even New Jack Swing is represented here.
Despite this, sometimes the clash of sounds can feel slightly diluted by some slightly hazy production, including on The Warning, where Robyn’s emotionally-wrought vocals and the melancholy orchestration are dulled by the washed-out beats. Yet, even in these moments, there’s an air of self-assuredness. “Won’t try to hide it / I’m gonna be myself this time” Bainbridge sings alongside Robyn on the propulsive Cry Everything. On Something Like A War, it often sounds like they’re doing just that.
Listen to: Raise Up