British musician Kindness, a.k.a. Adam Bainbridge, released their long-awaited third album, Something Like a War, on September 20, 2019 via Female Energy Ltd. The project, produced by Kindness and featuring collaborations with artists working across all genres, is a bold, deeply-felt, and ambitious emergence from a self-imposed five year hiatus spent working on others’ music.
Spanning the entirety of Kindness’ musical range as a musician and a DJ, from bass-heavy funk, glittering pop, and South Asian/Indian folk to deep house, baroque strings, and the harmonies of '90s female R&B groups, Something Like a War is an album about breaking free from past struggles, discovering one’s own resilience, and fostering—and leaning on—community. It synthesizes the infectious instrumental pulse of Kindness’s 2012 debut album World, You Need a Change of Mind while incorporating the probing R&B introspection of 2014’s Otherness, their second.
And as with those two albums, this is music at its most intentional: Something Like a Waris a musician’s feast, with layered, multi-instrumental arrangements, unexpected, cross-genre samples, and overlapping vocals that together form a cohesive whole. Lyrically, each piece here was consciously placed and tightly wound to convey peak emotional experience, from heartbreak and longing to self-love and catharsis, while also speaking directly and respectfully to the communities that Kindness, who uses they/them pronouns, resonates most with, including South Asian, trans, femme, and queer communities.
Something Like a War is Kindness’s first solo release in five years, but they’ve remained busy working across several projects in the interim: they co-produced five tracks on Solange’s A Seat at the Table, contributed writing, production, and vocals to Blood Orange’s Freetown Sound and Negro Swan albums, and recently produced “Send to Robin Immediately,” a highlight from Robyn’s acclaimed album Honey.
A sought-after DJ, radio host, writer, collaborator, and lecturer on everything from musical craft and heritage to queerness and history, they’ve spent the last several years performing as a DJ at venues across the world, from Palais de Tokyo to the Guggenheim Museum, hosted their own radio show on Red Bull Radio in 2016 and 2017, lectured at Boiler Room in New Delhi, moderated Robyn’s Red Bull Music Academy lecture at MOMA in New York, before teaching pop music performance to students at London’s Goldsmiths in 2018.