Friday, October 26, 2012

Pitstop: Incan Abraham

                                                      (photo by Sterling Andrews)

If you visit this blog with any sort of consistency you may have picked up on what really gets me going, if not I'll review quickly: vocal harmonies, lush layers of sound, articulately played instruments, and anything vaguely world music inspired (also folk, but we're not talking about that right now).

Los Angeles' Incan Abraham were my first new music discovery at CMJ playing an absolutely riveting set upstairs at Pianos. It was a performance I wish I had been warned about so that I could've properly prepared myself for what was about to transpire. Instead before they went on, Jess from introduced me to Spencer Mandel, the band's bassist, and merely mentioned they were friends and the band was "good". Lies and god damn slander, Jess.

The quartet showered all those lucky to be in attendance with tight-knit psychedelic pop rock filled to the brim with utterly mindblowing vocal harmonies and an unstoppable urge to move your body. Also afro-pop. And there isn't a human alive who can resist the sultry sway of African-inspired beats. Anyone who says so is a liar. How did they do this? Well, drummer Andrew Clinco has a set of congas in addition to the standard set up, and  lead vocalist/keyboardist Guliano Pizzulo has a laptop that infuses world-inspired elements into what would otherwise be a pretty basic guitar-bass-drums-keys-sometimes-other-guitar line up.

On paper, Incan Abraham might not immediately sound like a band you should be going crazy over but I assure you they most certainly are. Three years of music-making has turned the foursome into an efficient groove machine capable of raining down it's radiant, bliss-inducing harmony-laden brand of dance-inspiring pop rock. But as impressive as the band's playing is, the real star is no doubt the voice-work. Pizzulo's vocals are effortlessly pristine, attention-grabbing, and have this ability to float above the wide variety of business happening underneath. While guitarist Teddy Cafaro's are a well-deployed weapon: sweeter and less insistent but no less ear-catching or arresting. On the occasion where he takes lead vocal duties ("In Milan"), it's a treat and a quite enjoyable one at that. Together Pizzulo and Cafaro form a rather formidable duo. And because I still can't get over them, I'll mention them again: Those harmonies.

Incan Abraham currently have three EPs available for free download over at their Bandcamp so make sure you pick those up. They're all great. They also have delightfully good single out now. Listen to "Springhouse":

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