Angel Deradoorian is known primarily as a member of Dirty Projectors, but here she trades the genius idiosyncracy of the house that Dave Longstreth built for her own relatively quiet, less openly ambitious creation. That isn’t to say that Deradoorian’s release, her Mind Raft EP, is less than her work with Dirty Projectors, just that her very particular work recalls some a type of drone, metallic R&B. It’s different, is all.
Deradoorian’s individual style (surprise, surpise) relies heavily on her gorgeous voice. The Dirty Projectors multi-instrumentalist contributes more than that to the album, but her pipes rest comfortably in the center of each track, even in the entirely wordless “Weed Jam,” which is rounded out by nothing more than some prime “oohs” and “aahs.”
The most arresting thing about Mind Raft has got to be the incredibly instinctive style that Deradoorian has created, her own Drone&B. It’s all very heartbreaking and dark, until she strips away the drone and replaces it with an old fashioned “R” for the EP’s centerpiece, “You Carry the Deed,” a track that suggests that, much like her Dirty Projectors bandmate Amber Coffman, if Deradoorian made entirely different aesthetic choices she could be a Def Jam signee.
Mind Raft‘s only downside is that the two songs that follow “You Carry the Deed” — “Holding Pattern” and “Moon” — are more drone than B, though they still manage to be affecting. However, the vocal performance from Deradoorian on “Deed” and the harmonius funk of “High Road” are such that the rest of the EP has its work cut out for it.