Kindred The Family Soul
If what artists such as Jill Scott and Erykah Badu do is considered neo-soul, then Philly based husband-and-wife duo Aja and Fatin Dantzler's music could be coined neo-gospel. Though any attempt to create a soul/gospel dichotomy would be foolish, Kindred's songs reflect unwavering optimism and a reliance on faith and family. The group's debut, 2003's Surrender to Love, was an instant success despite the diminishing popularity of retro soul music. Songs such as the jazzy "Contentment" and "We" were pretty without being overly polished. The chemistry between the two singers was also great, with Aja's amazing mezzo-soprano handling most of the duties and Fatin's gregariously smooth vocals shoring up their sound. 2005's In This Life Together was equally satisfying, and proved that they were more than just a one-off novelty act.