WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2009|
Though there's a flood of reasons why Brooklyn's Dirty Projectors have been such a gratifying entrant into the current crop of top-notch indie acts, it's the challenge they present before their listener that might shine supreme above all others. Since releasing their '07 stand out Rise Above, the band have slowly built their profile with an enterprise of songs that are anything but warm and fuzzy. Instead, the Projectors rely on a witches brew of suicidal vocal melodies, breakaway harmonies, and a mishmash of sonic pastiches that always seem to blaze their own uneven trajectory. Put simply, the Projectors offer tunes that are not always the easiest to grasp...a quality often credited to the hyper-tendencies of principal songwriter David Longstreth.
But Longstreth isn't the only one whose had a hand in the Projector's recent success. Those jarring blasts of vocal harmonies, for example, have to come from somewhere. One such place? 22 year old bassist/vocalist Angel Deradoorian, whose wisely using the band's recent marquee status to shed some light on her own music with the appropriately titled Mind Raft EP.
Unlike the blistering surge of unexpected twists and turns the Projectors take their listeners on, Deradoorian's music is relatively simple in construct. All five songs offered here seem to slowly pirouette on a much more simple kind of musical axis. High Road, for example, commissions a clumpy keyboard pattern in which to dig its' roots in to. "Holding Pattern" swings back and forth on the ups and downs of a heavy hi hat, though a moody bit of guitar crunch also accentuates the track. "You Carry the Deed" does little more than build off a gentle cascade flow upon Angel's nylon, acoustic guitar strings.
It's a repetitive tendency of Deradoorian's; one that would probably find any other artist in hot water, except for the fact that it feels like a more deliberate approach here. What's happening (or what's not happening, rather) on Mind Raft ultimately serves Angel's windswept vocals more appropriately, allowing listeners to truly fall in to the singer's hypnotic trap. Take standout track "Moon", for example. Pairing dual lines that rocket for the stratosphere during the song's main theme, Deradoorian's voice becomes a trance inducing opiate; the perfect kind of potion for maximum meditation. So too do her melodic voicings on "Weed Jam". Though the EP's opener is more reminiscent of a vocal exercise, there's something to be said for her mesmerizing way of ushering listeners into the ether with nothing more than a series of "oohhs" and "ahhhs".
Given Angel's booming contributions to the Dirty Projector's line up, Mind Raft ultimately provides a rather out of the blue experience. Put simply, this is a differentiated effort; one that will set the listener adrift in a sea of peaceful ruminations if they let it. Call it a life boat if the good ship Longstreth ever goes down. - David Pitz