Deradoorian has been a key member of some very significant weird-indie groups in the last few years: she is principally one of the most prominent aspects of Dirty Projectors, as well as performing in Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks. On The Expanding Flower Planet however, she crafts her very own musical worlds, each containing many ornate layers.
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An affiliate of both the Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors campsites, Angel Deradoorian is no stranger to making that slightly weird but ultimately very catchy pop music that compels as it estranges. Both of the indie rock bands she’s been a part of (the Projector bunch, plus Avey Tare’s yelper outfit the Slasher Flicks) have made artistic moves away from their audience, saying “I’m not like you” with their music while also keeping the sounds insatiable. Her solo work is no different; its off-kilter, lethargic vibe is enough to procure real shock factor when the bold melodies and overloud harmonies put things into the key of pop.
‘The Expanding Flower Planet’ is largely a sparse record and occasionally a wild ride -- the arrangements are little, but bizarre enough to feel like a lot, often based around keys and drums that slink into place and leave the rest up to your imagination. It’s the way that Deradoorian chooses to strike, though: her sudden vocal inflections, layered to fuck, are put in bold by the unassuming way she prepares things. “Komodo” takes a pulsating bassline and places it in a grand chamber, creating the feeling of a full, ornamented song without ever really constructing it. “Your Creator” bounces with a synth motif rising and falling at half-tempo as laser-beams shoot upwards; the song barely shifts its melody along from start to end, but it feels like a full journey with Deradoorian constantly humming overtop.
It’s these modest but trippy songs that favour ‘The Expanding Flower Planet’ best, with the full-bodied tracks (“The Invisible Man” and "DarkLord", a track in the vein of the excellent Bell) taking us out of the sleepy hallucination and into the wilderness. I like it, as I do all the tracks here -- but I'm the kind of AnCo fan who needs a sec more in my bed, so this album's at its best when the surrealism's just for lounging with. Look out for "Ouneya" by the way, a gorgeous slice of ambient pop that uses layers from different dimensions.
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