wears the trousers magazine

deradoorian: mind raft EP (2009)
June 3, 2009, 11:36 am
Filed under: album, review | Tags: , , , ,


Mind Raft EP •••½
Lovepump United

It’s probably no surprise that Angel Deradoorian — bassist for the acclaimed Dirty Projectors — took her surname to represent her solo material. Angel by itself would have suggested cutesy, girly pop, which Mind Raft most certainly is not. Rather, it’s unsurprisingly similar to the experimental, jagged sound that features on the Projectors’ latest album, Bitte Orca, out next week. Critics have been justifiably excited about the track that Angel fronts on that album, ‘Two Doves’, and have been talking up prospects of a larger solo career for her. It’s probably worth remembering, however, that ‘Two Doves’ is a Dirty Projectors track that Angel leads, rather than her own solo creation. Collaboratively, the band are currently striking a rich vein of form by balancing the vocal harmonies of Angel, Amber Coffman, and Haley Dekle against the Piacsso-esque arrangements and falsetto wail of frontman Dave Longstreth.

Mind Raft is perhaps best approached as an insight into what the Projectors might sound like without Longstreth. This doesn’t make it bad, by any means, but it does mean it is missing the dynamism he brings to the table, particularly the ability to supply exotically shifting melody and rhythm that feel strikingly new but also quickly familiar. Nevertheless, Longstreth’s influence is clear in this short selection of tracks. There’s a fondness for creepy synths, as on ‘High Road’, and sighing woodwind, featured strongly on ‘You Carry The Dead’. These are also the strongest tracks on the EP; the latter, like many of the new Projectors songs, sounds like an R’n’B hit reworked in a ‘freak-folk’ framework.

Mind Raft, however, maintains a fairly solid, predictable tempo throughout, and this is where it suffers somewhat. ‘Holding Pattern’ is a stumbling dirge and closer ‘Moon’ keeps up the same pace, offering scant relief. While it’s true that Deradoorian’s voice suits long, languorous sounds, she’ll probably need to diversify this in order to craft a full album that can hold the listener’s attention, despite the flashes of brilliance that flare up here and there. In many ways it seems that Deradoorian is on an exciting musical journey with the Projectors, and loathe as everyone would be to see the demise of the current, extremely popular line-up, on the evidence of Mind Raft it seems likely she will go on to intrigue us with even more skill and subtlety at some point in the future.

Scott Sinclair
UK release date: 05/05/09; www.myspace.com/angelderadoorian


FREE MP3: Deradoorian, ‘High Road’ [via Stereogum]


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