Random Track of “Kindness”

Kindness is easy to love, hard to Google. The fast-rising British artist, aka Adam Bainbridge, makes modern disco-funk with irresistible pop hooks, including his new single “That’s Alright.” The song introduces itself with a languid saxophone solo before kicking off into a genuine stomper, with Bainbridge stepping back to let female vocalists take the spotlight. Over the next four minutes, somber and jubilant elements are blended to make a song not quickly forgotten. The B-side to “That’s Alright” is a live rendition of the song, recorded at BBC Radio 1’s Maida Vale studios. It’s a drier, punchier take that pushes the bassline up front.

Kindness’s debut album World, You Need A Change Of Mind is out now.



BlackBook Tracks #6: Is Your Summer Weird Yet?

It’s mid-July, and by now your summer’s probably getting really good or really weird. (My vote’s for weird, I don’t know about you.) Whatever’s going on, round out your soundtrack with this week’s musical picks.

JEFF the Brotherhood – “Six Pack”

Get to know another side of Nashville with JEFF the Brotherhood. The lead single from their new Dan Auerbach-produced album Hypnotic Nights shows how to stay optimistic about summer, even when it is too hot to live, also known as right now.

The Soft Pack – “Saratoga”

San Diego garage rockers the Soft Pack are getting ready to release their next album Strapped on Mexican Summer. First single “Saratoga” hints at the vibes to come.

Vampire Weekend – “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa”

Remember when you first heard Vampire Weekend? Brooklyn’s finest have been keeping quiet while working on their third album, but they resurfaced at the Pitchfork Music Festival last weekend to remind everyone of just how great they are.

The Bewitched Hands – “Thank You, Goodbye, It’s Over”

The charming French indie pop band jangles its way through two and a half minutes of pure pleasantness.

Alt-J – “Tessellate”

See things in a slightly different way with these fast-rising Brits.

Lana Del Rey – “National Anthem” (Das Racist remix)

Nothing like a good remix to make Lana Del Rey more palatable, and Das Racist don’t disappoint.

MNDR – “Faster Horses”

MNDR knows her way around a slick electro-pop tune, and “Faster Horses” is no exception. Keep an eye out for her debut LP Feed Me Diamonds next month.

Discovery – “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” (ft. Deradoorian)

The blend of efficiency and pop production on Discovery’s LP make it a summer record with lasting power.

Bear In Heaven – “World Of Freakout”

Bear In Heaven bring the fuzzy, washed-out synths for a song that’s more complex than it initially lets on.

Poolside – “Just Fall In Love”

A record called Pacific Standard Time is irresistable by default, and the California duo Poolside have the disco-inflected chops to back it up.

Kindness – “Anyone Can Fall In Love”

A slow jam for summer nights, British up-and-comer Kindness has a knack for universal pop appeal.

Moonlight Matters – “Come For Me” (ft. Gustaph)

Getting people to dance to songs they’ve never heard before can be a challenge, but this track, assisted by Hercules and Love Affair’s Gustaph, is probably a good place to start.

BlackBook Tracks #3: 2012 First Half Report

Looking sharp, 2012. In our first two installments, we’ve already highlighted some of the best songs of the year so far, like Tanlines’ “All of Me” and “I Love It” by Icona Pop. Here’s a sampling of some other great singles from the past six months.

Django Django – “Default”

This relentlessly catchy cut from the London-based psych-rock quartet demands to be put on repeat.

Hot Chip – “Night And Day”

Hot Chip have always been pretty sexy, and they reach their full potential in that department with “Night and Day.” With a nasty bass line and characteristic humor, the song simultaneously fulfills their established R&B-inflected electro sound and pushes it further.

Grimes – “Oblivion”

Claire Boucher’s ethereal vocals and looping production make this song both expansive and intensely intimate.

Kindness – “House”

An earnest, quietly anthemic love song from the British up-and-comer. Kindess’s debut album World, You Need A Change Of Mind was produced by French studio wizard Philippe Zdar (Phoenix, Chromeo).

Chairlift – “Met Before”

On sophomore album Something, Chairlift moved swiftly past the previous success of “Bruises” and went in a dreamier direction, while remaining just as charming.

Sharon Van Etten – “Leonard”

Sharon Van Etten’s been around for a while, but she’s earned some new fans from third LP Tramp. This highlight from the album lets the singer-songwriter’s voice soar.

Perfume Genius – “Dark Parts”

Seattle’s Perfume Genius, aka Mike Hadreas, is known for his stark, minimalist style. “Dark Parts” shows off his ability to distill imagery and make you cry.

Bear In Heaven – “Sinful Nature”

Bear In Heaven’s shimmering electro-pop sounds perfect right about now. With lines like “Let’s get loaded and make some strange things come true,” this song puts romance in a weird place.

New Build – “Do You Not Feel Loved?”

There’s a bit of overlap here, as New Build is a side project of Hot Chip’s Al Doyle and Felix Martin. This track from their excellent album “Yesterday Was Lived And Lost” is gently delivered, but urgent all the same.

Santigold – “Big Mouth”

It took four years for Santigold to make her return, and tracks like the rattling, blistering “Big Mouth” make sophomore LP Master of My Make-Believe worth the wait.

Today In New Electro: Simian Mobile Disco, Kindness, HEALTH

Not the electronic music type? You might think that, but take a listen to any of these songs, all of which hit the web today, and you might soon find yourself a convert. 

Unpatterns, the new album from London’s Simian Mobile Disco—the project of James Ford and Jas Shaw—which will be released tomorrow but is streaming now at Spin. The chilly, hypnotic collection of songs, nine in all, is a reminder of why sometimes even rockers have to break out their glowsticks.

The cinematic tracks are made for a lot more than toe-tapping—there’s full-on desk dancing happening here—but lack any sort of overly Oakenfoldian raveyness.

Also out today is a new video from Kindness, the electro project from Brit Adam Bainbridge that’s hitting New York this week. The clip, for the song “House,” features Brainbridge showing a pretty adorable kid how to make the song. It’s more abstract and highfalutin than your average video, but with a song so undeniably catchy, that’s forgivable.

Maybe because the song is made to score a video game, Max Payne 3, “Tears,” a new song from HEALTH, has a more electronic sound than we expect from the California rockers. “The closest example of what we would go for is like a Brian Eno record, where it just feels really good and there are long pauses between songs and you feel this whole mood,” HEALTH’s John Famiglietti said about the soundtrack. And while it might not make us any better at video games—which have gotten a lot harder since Legend of Zelda—it certainly makes us want to try.