Album: Nzca/Lines, Nzca/Lines (Loaf)

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The Independent Culture

Nzca/Lines frontman Michael Lovett has claimed as a primary inspiration the late R&B diva Aaliyah and there's something about his gossamer-light falsetto that recalls her delivery.

But the truly inspired thing about this debut is the way that he and producer Charlie Alex March have blended that falsetto into sleek electropop arrangements, with his vocal supported by just a skeletal beat on "Compass Points", while gently shuffling keyboard figures lend a watercolour backdrop to "Okinawa Channels". Elsewhere, "AM Travel Approach" features a Beach Boy-ish a cappella arrangement bookended by electronic fizz, and the Eighties groove of "Atoms & Axes" recalls Metronomy's first album; but "Moonlit Car Chase" and "Base 64 Love" come perilously close to generic technopop.

Download this: Compass Points; Okinawa Channels; Atoms & Axes