Inc.

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Andrew and Daniel Aged look like high school truants hiding out at Chico’s, their local Mexican food stop in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Cloaked in hoodies with multitudes of rings flashing on their collective fingers, the baby-faced brothers—who are 28 and 26, respectively—are hardly shirking responsibilities. The duo has left its music-making lair up the street to spend a few moments talking about their joint venture, inc.

Their ages notwithstanding, the two have earned their musical chops. Whether it has been playing with Robin Thicke or Raphael Saadiq, among others, the Monterey, California-raised brothers have been performing on big stages since their early 20s. It was these experiences, both separately and apart, that drove them to put together inc.

“There was something missing,” says the soft-spoken younger brother, Daniel, whose words are so measured they feel like they have been carefully and individually selected. “It wasn’t our life’s mission to be playing other people’s music. We had our own ideas about what the music should be and those needed to come through us.”

“At a certain point, it became too stifling,” says Andrew, who speaks his mind more definitively, almost like his thoughts have been rehearsed. “The people we were working with were too concerned about commodity, being cool, and looking a certain way. Something happened to that music. It’s not free right now.”

The music the brothers are referring to is the soul and R&B on which they grew up. Once they went through their Nirvana Smashing Pumpkins phase, it was upon hearing Maxwell and D’Angelo that the dedication to their instruments (bass for Daniel, guitar for Andrew) was pledged. Learning more and more from the retired jazz session musicians who populate their hometown, the two committed all their free time, as well as class time, both in high school and later while attending USC’s studio/jazz guitar program, to practicing, before they dropped out to play music full-time.

Their vision is fully realized on their debut, no world with an ultra modern take on R&B that is uniquely defined by the Aged brothers. The edging-on-falsetto vocals catch and flow at just the right times, bubbling over a tuneful, soul-drenched backdrop. From the seductive whispers of “Desert Rose (War Prayer)” to the shuddering rhythms of “Black Wings” (which harkens the beginning strains of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”), there is an honest quality in the delivery that is laid completely bare. Giving equal nods to the best of Prince and the electro-beats of Zane Lowe’s lesser-known folk-soul Breaks Co-op project, subtlety is the key word on no world.

Text by Lily Moayeri

THE OBSESSION ISSUE

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