The Southern New Wave Tension of KiND
  • TUESDAY, MAY 05, 2015

  • Posted by: Don Saas

Bands have forgotten how to build tension in a track these days. Half the reason that I can't stand most modern EDM is that it's full-blast non-stop. There's no ebb & flow to the music. Usher's "Climax" is a solid contender for the best song of the 2010s because it's such a masterclass in building and (even more importantly) sustaining tension. We had a chance to chat with Nashville synth-pop act KiND about their excellent upcoming record, Euonia, their roots as a Southern New Wave act, and why so many bands today stylize their names in such unique ways. Check out our short chat as well as the video for one of the singles off the new record, "Axum," and note how expertly it builds, maintains, and releases its sonic tension.



Your sound is very much rooted in the New Romantics/New Wave revivalism that has become so popular over the last 5 years. What were the sort of acts that were influencing your sound?

Gabrahm: The New Romantics/New Wave influence was an unconscious happening. We didn't make these associations our selves until we started getting feedback from sharing demo's from Eunoia with friends and music colleagues. Looking and listening back after making the record ,these genre influences are obvious. We're all big Bowie fans and have covered some of his material in the live show in the past. I grew up in a small town in Ohio that was a few years behind the curve, so when New Romantics were peaking in the early 80's they rippled and peaked in my little town in the late 80's/ early 90's. The same time I'd be dancing in front of my parents home stereo, as a supple ear and brained toddler. We are huge Talking Heads fans which I think spearheads the New Wave influence. We also are naturally inclined to exude the nerdy quirky personas that embody the creatures of that genre.

Brady: The really big ones from the get go were Cut Copy, LCD, and MJ. Also Peter Gabriel's So record was pretty influential as well as Caribou and Washed Out. And, later on, bands like Bombay Bicycle Club.

?Anthony: We all kind of tossed in with whatever our individual influences are. Personally, my background is in jazz and classical music, so I am always looking to throw in something that is unusual or complex without sacrificing relatability or overall simplicity---rather, concision. That said, when we were in the writing and early production phases of Eunoia, I was on a slow recovery from a heavy, year-long Michael Jackson bug (a bandwagon I was very late to jump on...).?



Another thing that I'm seeing a lot more of in the 2010s are bands with unique stylizations for their name. Why did you choose the atypical capitalization for KiND?

Gabrahm: Coming to the unanimous agreement that KiND would be the band name was an adventure. We met for multiple 3-5 hour sessions and sifted through what must have been 400 potential names. We had a guest moderator on a couple of the sessions that manned a massive dry erase board...shit ended up looking like Calculus with letters, numbers, and shapes and arrows jutting in all directions. There were some names that we went back and forth on for a few days. I specifically remember liking Echo Bay, or even just Bay. But 'Yonce got the best of that option.

KiND ended up being the human character quality that we wanted to make priority for the intention of the band.


Robert: in the past, we've used the motto "Think Positive. Forgive Each Other. Dance." When we decided to change our name to "KiND," we realized that it was a way to convey a similar message in one word -- the lowercase "i" stands as a reminder to put others first. The name is a lot to live up to, but I think that's the point. As a band called KiND, we're called to lead by example?.


The Nashville scene is exploding for legitimate pop-rock acts these days as much as if not more than for country which is its established scene. What did growing up and recording in Nashville do to influence your sound?


Robert: I think our sound is the result of being able to work closely together, combining our interest and talents without having to rush or fit a particular mold. I grew up in Nashville as a session singer, and it's been fascinating to watch the city and scene undergo huge changes, especially over the past 15 years. It used to be that every record in town was cut quickly, with session musicians recording on the behalf of writers. That's definitely not the case for up-and-coming bands like us. We're more like small-batch crafters, taking our time to get every flavor just right.

Although the music industry is in the middle of a dramatic evolution, the creative heart of Music City is probably beating harder than ever. The rules are being rewritten in the digital age, and only great art will survive -- for that reason, we've been able to invest a huge amount of time and attention as we work to build something special with KiND. Our complete independence has allowed us to craft every sound, lyric, and detail. It's been encouraging to see other Nashville acts pursuing their own unique sound, and the city's music is becoming a lot more diverse as a result.

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