You trudge through a murky swamp. The thick black water glows with an uncanny luminescence, like a jelly-fish on its last legs. Dead plants hang above your head and surround you on the muddy shores, black as the water itself. The sun rises steadily in front of you, and countless pinholes of light illuminate the swamp. You hear a faint tone, and then another, and then you look closely at the flowers. They have mouths, and they are singing . . .
Has this year peaked for music? This record of the year contender laughs in the face of that question. The Expanding Flower Planet is the debut full-length by Angel Deradoorian, a wonderfully innovative multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who previously played bass and sang in The Dirty Projectors, and currently accounts for one third of Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks. Even with her stellar track record, this may be her best work yet.
Her notable collaborations also include Flying Lotus, Charli XCX, Vampire Weekend, Matmos, and even U2; this list screams versatility, and no holds are barred on this record in that regard. Deradoorian delves into pulsing krautrock rhythms, folk-tinged orchestrations, ’60s psych-rock, and traverses the expanse between classical minimalism and explosive maximalism. It’s a delectable treat for the musically scatterbrained.
In the core of it all is Deradoorian herself, a seraphic voice that permeates through every pore of this record. Her singing dazzles within every context that she utilizes it: soaring leads, textured harmonies, cavernous bass, twinkly ornamentations, and everything in between. Every production is captivating, but Deradoorian’s voice commands it all. If you’re seeking dream-like instrumentation with enveloping vocals, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)