I love when I can snarkily point out manufactured music industry hype, and I was ready to do just that for Deradoorian's highly-anticipated debut The Expanding Flower Planet. It's the perfect setup: Angel Deradoorian was the bassist and vocalist for Dirty Projectors (you'll probably recognize her voice if you're a fan), and has since played with every indie darling from Avey Tare to Vampire Weekend. But unfortunately for my smug ass, she deserves every bit of the frenzy that's surrounded her solo debut.
It may be obvious for an album as overtly psychedelic as this (I mean, it's named after a tapestry on her wall, for Christ's sake), but The Expanding Flower Planet is a trip. Unfortunately for a lot of other psych bands, the genre often lends itself to tropes that—while they might make for good company when you're actively under the influence—get a little tired in the light of day. Deradoorian's work, on the other hand, is legitimately transportive.
There are world music influences, sure, which at any given moment can take you to the Middle East, Japan, or East India. But it goes beyond that. Her personal style is so wildly inventive and unpredictable that making your way through the album genuinely feels like exploring something unknown. Each track is a new rock to turn over, and it certainly keeps you on your toes.
While it's too early to say how The Expanding Flower Planet will hold up in posterity, I think it's safe to rank it among the most impressive releases of this year. Deradoorian isn't exactly a newcomer to the scene, but it's great to get a better sense of what she contributed to her past projects, and I'm sure her solo career (if she continues to pursue it) will be a fruitful one. But for now, I'd suggest kicking back with this record and basking in all the fantastical places it takes you.