Incarnations, With All Due Respect
A charming, sunny antidote to December's bleak chill
Warm enough to ease any winter, this is one of those rare serendipitous occasions where three jobbing musicians/friends with experience and skills to burn convene for an off-piste project and deliver a result that surpasses all expectations, probably even their own. Less a super-group than a collective of the quietly underrated, Incarnations consists of Bart Davenport (singer-songwriter with The Loved Ones and Honeycut, and a touring member of Kings Of Convenience), Quin Luke (a.k.a. Bing Ji Ling of The Phenomenal Handclap Band, and half of Q&A) and percussionist Daniel Collas (of production team Embassy Sound, also allied to The Phenomenal Handclap Band). The three had wanted to collaborate for some time, but those multiple guises and heavy schedules (plus the fact that they lived on opposite coasts of the U.S.) thwarted the dream until they found ten days in Tarifa in Southern Spain and relaxed into it.
Relax is the key word. With All Due Respect forgets about today and slides into lazy, hazy summer grooves which coax you into stoner smiles. Organic and musically assured, it recalls the more concise, hip-hippy concoctions of Hall & Oates, Steely Dan or even the Doobie Brothers. Loping rhythms underpin exquisite CSNY-style harmonies, and the sound of waves lapping against the shore (featured between tracks) is entirely appropriate.
"Make You Mine" and "I Didn't Know" are loving, sincere offspring of Eagles and America.. "Meet Me At Midnight" is deliciously cool, Davenport's burbling bass giving the finger to soulless programming, while "Let Love Find You" could be David Gates and Bread with a shot of slow-release adrenalin. The soul undercurrent bursts forth on the falsetto-led "The Selfish Guy", which brings to mind The Stylistics or Delfonics with Duane Eddy guesting on guitar. A charming antidote to December's bleak chill, this river of retro is as refreshing as the first bright day of Spring.