Old in name if not in years, inc. are the LA-based Aged brothers who made a low-key impact two years ago with the 3 EP, a smooth if ultimately slightly unsatisfying trio of RnB cuts.
The discerning British label 4AD clearly sensed potential though, the boys’ history hinting at greater substance beyond that fresh but flawed opener.
Andrew and Daniel Aged grew up around travelling bluesmen before becoming successful session musicians, and their list of clients – which they prefer not to publicise – is certainly awash with heavy-hitters, from A-list pop stars to achingly hot producers.
This debut album is a fuller realisation of their in-demand talents, adding a welcome layer of dirt to the previously lightweight brew. Since that original release they’ve presumably spent many hours locked in a dark room with only a copy of D’Angelo’s infamously sexy Voodoo LP for company.
no world is a fully formed, splendidly fluid soundtrack to seduction, singer Andrew Aged maintaining a sultry whisper throughout, as if a sudden change of tempo would break the spell.
And he has a point. This is superior mood music, one-paced but certainly not pedestrian, with each new cut subtly elaborating on the formula.
Worlds occasionally collide, most evocatively on black wings, which conjures Prince pitching up at 4AD during their shoegazey 80s heyday, Andrew’s sweet nothings backed by a wall of reverb-heavy rhythm guitar.
Sultry it may be but followers of more cerebral sounds should find much of interest here. angel offers ghostly hints of Sakamoto’s Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence score, Andrew’s whispers augmented by gaseous beats that drift off into the ether.
The light industrial buzz of careful is like being wrapped snugly in sonic wire wool, and there are hints of Stevie Wonder’s more noodly mid-70s work in the instrumental closer, nariah’s song.
As for bassist Daniel Aged, his most telling contribution is on the funky lifetime, an impressive stab at a swamp-sexy D’Angelo cut that sets the subsequent tone: artful grooves, but all still aimed squarely at the bedroom.
These gifted siblings have come of age. You’ll want what they’re having.