Release Date: Oct 6, 2017
Record label: Anticon
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Ambient Pop
On Angel Deradoorian’s debut album, she closed one door and opened a dozen more. Up until that point, the Sacramento-born musician had spent most of her career supporting other people: most famously as a member of Dave Longstreth’s Dirty Projectors and Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks, but also singing backup for Brandon Flowers, Charli XCX, Flying Lotus, and even U2. Finally, though, in order to say “yes” to her own instincts—there had been no solo work since her debut EP, in 2009—she had to say “no” to everyone else.
Angel Deradoorian has been primarily known for her work with Dirty Projectors as well as participating in albums by the Roots, Boots, Brandon Flowers, and Flying Lotus, but her talent was fully exposed when she ventured out on her own with her debut EP Mind Raft. Even though the record was rough, it still displayed the potential of Deradoorian when it came to forward thinking, experimental pop music. Her debut album, The Expanding Flower Planet, fully demonstrated that effect, with Deradoorian acquiring diverse elements, strange rhythmic notions, and obscure scales to enrich her sound.
Angel Deradoorian's second Anticon release is vastly different from her first, as well as anything she's recorded with other artists, including Dirty Projectors and Avey Tare. While 2015's The Expanding Flower Planet mixed billowing vocal harmonies with loping, hypnotic rhythms, alternately recalling Krautrock, new wave, and exotica, Eternal Recurrence does away with drums entirely, focusing on Deradoorian's ethereal vocals and soft, enveloping keyboard drones, with the occasional presence of flutes, bells, and other acoustic instruments. The songs are spiritual as well as personal, meditating on the vitality of love during the song's opener, where Deradoorian states that "Love's the only thing keeping me alive.
Angel Deradoorian's latest solo release, the six-song mini-album Eternal Recurrence, feels like a sonic exercise. In a way, the EP is a series of six meditative song cycles, minimal compositions that explore darker (and narrower) textures than her previous solo album, 2015's The Expanding Flower Planet. However, these stark offerings are also quite unsettling, feeling distant like a musical exhibit on display rather than a typical melodic idea easily shared and understood.