Inc. are Los Angeles-based brothers Andrew and Daniel Aged who've been performing and recording their poetic, slightly submerged R&B lounge music for four years. They hail the sound of downbeat Prince, mixed with someone like James Blake, blending quiet, breathy vocals with light jazz and soul harmonies, and flickering, percussive beats. This, their debut album, is a seductive, often romantic, sometimes ecclesiastical mix that goes down easily, like a good cognac.
Percussive falsetto soul, with its strut and stop rhythmic motion can be attached to everyone from Hot Chip to Jamie Liddell to Drake, but inc. have a studied shyness to their tracks: an ethereal quality, rather than a bombastic one. The album artwork has the pair standing near the water, in the quiet light among the tree-clad shoreline, all of which helps to emphasise their unassuming softness - their beats are intricate and precise, but wrapped in the smooth cocoon of vocals, they lose any jittery-ness. The incessant breathy falsetto approach to the vocals can wear a little thin, and occasionally dilutes their lyrical expressions, and the 80s sound palette could equally do with a little more variation (it can veer into light background muzak territory occasionally), but on a track like Angel, they get it just right.
Verdict: Downbeat, ethereal R&B duo do a nice line in seduction
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