After a delay of nearly four months, Angel Deradoorian’s new album has finally been unleashed on the world. Find The Sun has been touted as a “snapshot of her mental and spiritual state” now that she lives in New York, but the delay has actually allowed it to become an investigation into how we interact with each other in 2020.
Deradoorian’s previous albums, both solo and as a member of Dirty Projectors, have been minor masterpieces, and are certainly great examples of how intelligent sound design plays an integral role in the construction of great albums. Seemingly bringing her albums to life by sheer force of will, each project carries some kind of unique, enthralling characteristic, and the fact that she can keep making approachable and invitingly dark music outside of the (relative) mainstream is testament to her artistry.
Find The Sun's journey came to fruition when Deradoorian embarked on a series of “improvised collaborations with… like-minded souls” - including Samer Ghadry, and Dave Harrington of Darkside. Its energy is rooted in these partnerships explored at Panoramic House, an analogue studio in California featuring “wall-sized windows that gaze out upon the Pacific Ocean”.
Not that you’d know from hearing the record, of course. It’s a dark, moody, gloss-black take on the kind of experimental rock Can, Broadcast and Stereolab (who Deradoorian should have been supporting on tour this year) once did so well. The focus is on groove, and each of these tracks – whether they're relentless motorik jams or hymnal pastoral folk – carries its own internal engine and pulses with hypnotically saturnine energy.
The highlights here are plenty. “Corsican Shores”, with its rubbery Jaki Liebezeit drums and abstracted, ghostly Trish Keenan vocal lines, is a prime mover, a sultry groover – the centrepiece of an endlessly spiralling album. “It Was Me” summons the ghost of prime Joy Division, and casts it into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights – a masterpiece, no question.
“Sun”, ironically, takes things to an even darker place. It’s the kind of haunting ancient ballad you’d expect to be playing at a climactic moment in a David Lynch movie about Jesus. The fact that it grows outwards, unravelling like a snake, makes it even more potent. “Monk’s Robes” plays out in a similarly ancient way, but it wears Celtic robes, coming on like Fairport Convention on bad acid. The creeping doom of “Mask of Yesterday” is positively chilling, with its languid pace and elegant vocal layers evoking some kind of ghostly bacchanal.
Find The Sun is an unsurprisingly great album from a curiously underappreciated artist, and an unassuming one at that. Deradoorian and her collaborators have made an album that fits the times, without knowing just how pertinent it would be.