Ethereal and methodically paced, “Kindred” is more like ambient space-pop than singer/songwriter folk or lounge, which is a-ok with me. But while sparkly and pretty sounding (I sometimes felt like I was trapped in a hall of crystals), keeping my interest up was difficult. The 8-minute “Secret Passageway,” for instance, is enchantingly serene, sure, but it’s also mind numbing.
“Kindred” does have a couple of incredible tunes that are catchy enough to shine through the layers of ambient production. “In the Garden” incorporates the jaunty, bubbly electronica-lite of Postal Service and has the feel-good warm poppiness to boot. That tune was an immediate keeper. “My Love’s Mind” also has the right touch of glitchy programming. In less proficient hands, the sprinkling of bloops and bleeps would be gimmicky and distracting, but here it elevates those songs.
Gillespie’s voice is just pretty enough, but by no means heart stopping. Her vocals are definitely helped by the lush production, but I never felt much emotion coming across. The lyrics are the key here, and their poetic mysteriousness suits the music nicely. I recommend this album be paired with a glass of wine and an hour of self-reflection.
Bottom Line: Side effect may include sleep sparkles.
Notable Tracks: In The Garden, Blue Morpho, My Love’s Mind, Dance or Disappear