For much of the first decade and a half of the 2000s Angel Deradoorian seemed perpetually to be the bridesmaid but never the bride. She was a longtime member of Dirty Projectors, performed with Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, and collaborated with artists like Björk, Matmos, The Roots, and Vampire Weekend without releasing a full album of her own. 2009 did see the release of her EP, Mind Raft, so to say that Deradoorian released nothing under her own name would be inaccurate. This year—this coming Friday, in fact—will change that fact. Deradoorian’s The Expanding Flower Planet will be available digitally and on CD and vinyl through anticon. on August 21.
Fans of Dirty Projectors will find in the album a likemindedness to Dave Longstreth’s idiosyncratic pop experiments. The Expanding Flower Planet bubbles with psychedelic energy while Deradoorian’s vocals glide from high to low and back. Though their presence is not immediately apparent, noted influences on the record include Alice Coltrane, Can, Dorothy Ashby, and Terry Riley. Their place in Deradoorian’s music comes through on tracks like opener “A Beautiful Woman.” The song’s rhythm section propels it forward, giving it motion, all while allowing space for the vocals to weave their way into the listener’s ears.
Deradoorian also cites ancient traditions for their influence on The Expanding Flower Planet. East Indian, Middle Eastern, and traditional Japanese music all fell into a cosmic alignment of sorts with Deradoorian’s own musical direction. Like the jazz and krautrock influences, the traditional influences are most audible in the rhythm section. The foreboding “Komodo,” The Expanding Flower Planet‘s third early-released track, features a powerful beat backing a serene melody.
Though it has been six year since Angel Deradoorian’s last release under her own name, it is clear she has been anything but lazy. Sessions for what would become The Expanding Flower Planet began in Baltimore as far back as 2011. The album is proof that Deradoorian’s patience and selectiveness has paid off in full. Though her vocals’ sheer power and range put them front and center, they work gorgeously in conjunction with the album’s rhythms and melodies.