You Carry the Deed
Convincing genre queen
Sophisticated, sultry and confident debut from Dirty Projectors' Deradoorian
At the age of 15, Angel Deradoorian left school to become a full-time musician. She toured with various bands before joining art rockers the Dirty Projectors as a bass-player and vocalist. At that rate the first question that springs to mind isn't how she's managed to write her mature-sounding solo debut at the young age of 22, but rather what took her so long? That said, with such a rapid-moving music industry, it's actually quite refreshing to come across someone who's spent five years writing the five songs that make up Mind Raft.
Although Deradoorian has chosen a more low-key expression than the band she's moonlighting from, she inevitably has a lot of Dirty Projectors in her. She's adopted the experimental approach of Dirty Projectors-founder David Longstreth, who also happens to be the producer of Mind Raft. Like her band mates, she eats greedily from the smorgasbord of genres – indie, r'n'b, folk, world – yet still somehow manages to sound centred and homogenous.
Against a simple backdrop of drums, flutes and guitars, Mind Raft is an understated release with Deradoorian's husky voice as the focal point. She sets the scene with opening track Weed Jam where vocal harmonies are the lead ingredient. The borderline operatic and beautiful arrangements glide lusciously over straightforward, dirty-sounding drums, almost functioning as an intro to the EP's second track, High Road: a sly-sounding tune with a staccato guitar melody that contrasts the elongated vocals and choral-esque arrangements in the background.
Track three, You Carry The Deed, is a full-on r'n'b ballad where Deradoorian shows off the soul spectre in her voice. Hoarse flutes, feline humming in the background and an acoustic guitar accompaniment makes it the unpolished indie version of Tweet's sultry Motel off 2002's Southern Hummingbird. She briefly moves into bluesy shoegazer territory with track four, Holding Pattern, falling somewhere in-between Jesus and the Mary Chain's Just Like Honey and the Breeders' latest albums, and the EP ends on a world-inspired note and Moon's Middle Eastern tonalities.
Mind Raft is exactly what it says on the tin: a raft through Deradoorian's head unrestricted by conventions, rules or genres. It's the sound of someone doing exactly what they want to when they want to, something that comes across not only in the music, but in the cover design with her art student-like pencil drawings of portraits, angels, saints and leaves and handwritten track titles in brown gothic fonts.
Should she decide to spend five new years writing five new songs, it will most certainly be worth the wait.