With Frank Ocean levels rising in the mainstream, it’s no surprise that the underground is already flooded in R&B experiments. Los Angeles has been deep and diverse with the stuff: There’s the neon future soul of Dam-Funk, the ’90s freestyle séances of Nite Jewel, and (most recently) the pitch-perfect Quiet Storm forecasts of Inc. The debut from the once-anonymous LA duo of Rhye — Danish electro-soul producer Robin Hannibal and Canadian vocalist-producer Mike Milosh — floats with ease on this wave. Milosh’s voice is an uncanny tincture of Sade’s tone and Tracy Thorn’s technique; and indeed some songs (like “Shed Some Blood”) could be lost cuts from “Diamond Life.” There are also touches of the Sundays’ languid blue-gaze (“One of Those Summer Days”), Feist’s boudoir jams (“Major Minor Love”), and the Junior Boys’ tight-buttoned dance-pop (“3 Days”). Standout single “The Fall” combines
all of these streams in a wash of strings, polite pianos, Milosh’s cool croon, and a bass line that feels like a quickened heartbeat. Sounds like someone’s in love. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “The Fall”
Rhye perform at the Sinclair on April 16.