In an obscure industrial pocket of Brooklyn, a warehouse with a big sign advertising “Highest Prices Paid for Steel Drums” turned out to be the venue for Friday night’s show featuring underground R&B sensations Inc., andm even more intriguing, Dev Hynes and Sky Ferreira, performing together.
Hynes is a prolific British composer, musician and producer (not to mention photographer and writer), working with his own various bands past and present (Test Icicles, Lightspeed Champion, Blood Orange), writing and producing for Solange Knowles and Sky Ferreira, and dueting with Florence Welch, for example. (He has a tendency to attract the attention of “it girls.”) Ferreira, who is not yet of legal drinking age, has been floating around the party scene for a few years, with the voice, looks, and record label of a pop star, but not quite the songs. Hynes has helped with this, writing and co-producing for her the catchy hit “Everything Is Embarrassing,” which they performed together Friday. The rest of the set was mostly Blood Orange numbers, sung with Ferreira, who read lyrics from a notepad. The best moment was the first song of the set, “Champagne Coast,” with its timeless cool groove and infectious pleading chorus, a fantastic song made even better by the addition of Ferreira’s seductive vocals.
The stage, a white custom set that brought to mind a Miami Vice-era living room, was shrouded in thick bursts of mood-setting fog all night, a fitting environment for the hazy R&B-tinged riffs of brothers Andrew and Daniel Aged of Inc. (formerly Teen Inc.). As they are set to release a debut album on 4AD in February and hadn’t performed in NY in a while, Friday night was a big deal for them, which may be why they brought not one, but two live drummers. Injecting the extra drama worked, the initially aloof crowd transformed into a swaying, vibing mass. Check out photos from the night below.