Los Angeles based Incan Abraham hasn’t exactly been taking it easy the past year. Ancient Vacation is the group’s third EP in just about a year. Although they have yet to release a full length, their shorter bubbles of self-described ambient pop continue to demonstrate a clear understanding of their sound. Ancient Vacation is a marked sign of progress with sprawling vocals and tropical infused psychedelia pop bursting at the seams.
A nod to seaside holidays, Ancient Vacation livens the group’s ambient tendencies with moments of experimental, beachy pop. The breezy “Paper Army” seems a castaway from Yeasayer’s Odd Blood, with sweet, waning falsettos and tumults of primitive drums that prelude a hushed breakdown. The airy quality of opener “Wailing Wall” is deceiving, unraveling with a commanding punch, added in part by striking blows of percussion and spacey foreign chirps. Their method of creating textured soundscapes melds easily with blissful pop, allowing for controlled growth rather than brute force. “In Milan” is slow to begin, opening with an extended folky string session as a precursor to soft melodies and emotionally ravaged pleas.
Not all is sunny on the island of Ancient Vacation. Equal time is devoted to dark, denser psychedelic rock. “Beige” features bone chilling string dives cut short by the steady incoming march of drums, all tapering off in an ending of lulled fuzz. Set-closer “Rivers” briefly delves into shoegaze, a far cry from the animated beginnings. Tender vocals lighten the grim churn of strings and percussion, a surprisingly moody closer for the album.
Incan Abraham crafts a careful balance of weighted psychedelic rock and carefree pop. Though they can easily swap between the two sounds and still issue a cohesive effort, this EP is only a small sampling of tracks. A future full length could benefit from more decided ideals.
Essential Tracks: ”Paper Army”, “In Milan”