Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Listen: Incan Abraham - "Arabian Cane"

Late last year Los Angeles pop rockers Incan Abraham released "In My Bones", the first new music non Los Angelinos could hear from the band since their debut full length album Tolerance was released back in the Spring of 2014. But triumphant "In My Bones" was hardly a one-off and several months later, the band released the rest of the collection they prepped during a writing retreat in NY's Hudson Valley where the trio grew up. Arabian Cane, the band's newest EP, finds the band reunited after singer/multi-instrumentalist/recording engineer Guiliano Pizullo's stint as a touring member of Passion Pit.

Known both for their bright, breezy melodies reminiscent of balmier climes than their native LA and the stratospheric reach of their songs most winsome moments both melodically and lyrically, Arabian Cane is a much subtler record even as they lean more into synth pop conventions. Much of the record populates a nebulous space of dreamy, soft spoken introspection even as the drums keep the band from luxuriating too much in listless ambience. Much of the band's career trajectory has been a patient plod as they really focused on the cultivation of sounds and experiences that make for good music and Arabian Cane is no different even as the band levels up both their production and their lineup: HAIM's Dash Hutton appears on drums and percussion for much of the record and Clinton Welander helms much of the production with Pizzulo as copilot.

Album opener, the titular "Arabian Cane", with it's psychedelic guitar riffs offers up a beguiling thesis statement both in its outright poppiness and in the way singer/guitarist Teddy Cafaro reflects on the sometimes closed off nature that results in the pursuit of a goal. "I keep my heart for the work I put out, I keep it cold and my dreams come alive" Cafaro offers in the lines opening verse in a way that doesn't entirely glamorize that sort of behavior. It's important to know oneself and on reflection, Cafaro rightfully calls himself out on less than savory moments: "I was a cocky kid but a reticent man". It's a song that both addresses the artist as a person without necessarily giving the artist a free pass for their personhood and acknowledges it from a point of obvious growth. It's a definite standout on the album, concerning itself with, much like "In My Bones" and "You Are Me" with introspection despite it's polished pop rock dressings. Featuring Andrew Lessman on drums before his departure, it marks an interesting intersection for the band - taking the band's strongest points: ear-catching intricate harmonies and layers and setting them at more insistent pace at odds with the sort of head-turning lyricism that makes you rewind and relisten. It's a delicate balance act and one that the band absolutely nails as they both lean into their psych rock influence and push their pop sensibility into overdrive.

Incan Abraham's Arabian Cane EP is out now. You can listen/download it now.

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