New releases begin to slow down this time of year, so Sound It Out is cleaning up around the office and making sure we don’t forget anything before our end-of-year “Best Of” list. We start with three exciting EPs.
Deradoorian – Eternal Recurrence
In just two releases, Angel Deradoorian travels further and further away from her beginnings as “one of the singers from Dirty Projectors.” As Deradoorian, she traffics in trance-inducing psychedelia that fuses a number of modern and traditional musics, western, middle and eastern. Eternal Recurrence subtracts all the beats and layers that embellished her debut album (2015’s The Expanding Flower Planet), uncovering hidden spaces, silences, and shadows. Scattered references to “temples” underscore what’s going on here: a spiritual quest supported by minimalist instrumentation and guided by Angel’s timeless, siren-like voice. Many moments of magic to be found on this release.
Fresh off one of last year’s best debuts, Exploded View assembles compelling music out of unlikely elements: naive rhythms, ‘amateurish’ performances, occasional squawks of electronic noise, and singer Anika’s grandmotherly voice. On the new EP, the title track sees the band laying down a dance beat (or maybe deconstructing one) as Anika relates an eerie harbinger of climate change. Other songs show a similar modus operandi: wobbly rhythms are set in motion, Anika intones and moans, a guitar struggles in quiet desperation. There’s something delightfully off about this Mexico City-based art-rock quartet — the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on cough syrup, perhaps — and in any case it’s all over in 13 minutes.
A few years back, the Savannah, GA band Kylesa was one of extreme metal’s most walloping and adventurous units (two drummers!). With that band now on indefinite hiatus, guitarist/singer Laura Pleasants has formed her own project, the Discussion, to follow her non-metal muse. The results are taut, echoey guitar rock. This debut EP finds Pleasants exploring her musical options, and not above shredding a metallic solo, but as the track “Like Rain” indicates, the Discussion tends toward goth in tone, paisley in influence. (When I close my eyes, I fantasize these tracks could be the return of AWOL neopsychedelia queen Kendra Smith.) The Discussion whipped out these first demos to work up further while on the road, so they haven’t produced essential recordings yet, but the EP is worth checking out if only to get on the ground floor of a promising new entity.
A sociology professor living in upstate New York, Leonard Nevarez is patiently waiting until his kids are old enough for a family roadtrip to Maryland Deathfest. He blogs at musicalurbanism.org and is writing a book about Martha & the Muffins and the late 70s/early 80s downtown Toronto music scene.