Angel Deradoorian made her solo debut in earnest six years ago with Mind Raft, an EP of neo-psychedelia that surprised fans of Dirty Projectors for its departure from the rambunctious art pop of Bitte Orca. The spacey, pensive impressionism of Mind Raft was just a laid-back primer for The Expanding Flower Planet, an LP of an almost epic sonic scope. On her full-length debut, Deradoorian makes the wise choice not to play things safe—she subsequently reveals herself as a top-notch psychedelic chemist.
It’s pretty useless to compare Deradoorian’s solo work with David Longstreth’s frenetic kookiness or the freakiness of her work with David Portner in Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks; on her own, she is a soft-spoken poet-cosmonaut who digs shadow and dream, and this comes across strongly in the richly-layered mixes she constructs. However, whereas someone like Noah Lennox’s approach to production goes heavy on the phaser in order to create a wavy, syrupy wall of sound, Deradoorian just wants to etch in the dark corners of a psych-rock soundscape enough to give you interesting things to chew on beneath the melody. The multitude of weirdly beautiful instrumental details in these songs, whether they be the krautrock heartbeat of “The Invisible Man” or the rippling synths undercutting “The Eye,” point to her as an extremely sensitive and imaginative producer. Even a seemingly trivial interlude like “DarkLord” pushes all the right buttons at the peripheries of one’s mind; Deradoorian’s multi-tracked vocals harmonizing on a mantra, a lumbering bassline, and oddly processed drums–these elements all come together to form something really aurally delicious.
Lyrically, Deradoorian is a mystic who uses seemingly vague metaphors to relate people and places back to qualities of mind. On the titular track, she poses the question of whether we already know more than we are aware, if we perhaps already possess the keys to fix our home. It’s not every songwriter that can express a sentiment like that without their sincerity coming into question. »
– Matthew Sweeney
Deradoorian plays The Doug Fir Lounge with Laetitia Sadier on 9/25, grab tickets here.