A few months ago a dear friend with impeccable musical taste mentioned a new group she’d recently become enamored with called Decisive Pink. I followed up the recommendation with a trip to the duo’s bandcamp where only a handful of songs from their first album, Ticket To Fame, were available and immediately had the same reaction. The shimmering synth scape with smart, sometimes ethereal, other times chant-like lyrics had me staring into the department store window at the otherworldly display, drawn into exactly what this band was selling!
Formed by Angel Deradoorian of The Dirty Projectors and solo experimental pop artist Kate NV, Decisive Pink takes their name from a Wassily Kandinsky painting, which is just as abstract and awe-inspiring in it’s balance of neither too much or too little as the music these women create. Whether you are already a fan of work by Angel, Kate, or hey, even dead German painter Wassily, I invite you into this bright, bouncy, and sometimes searingly critical macrocosm that emerges as the record turns.
This is a thoroughly playful album. There is play in the variance of sound textures throughout, executed exceptionally well in “What Where,” there’s the silly playfulness of tracks like “Potato Tomato,” and then there’s self critique with a healthy dose of humor like in “Dopamine.” With lines like “I’m buying stuff I don’t need now,” it will both make you laugh and also wonder how exactly our culture arrived at this strange place.
I find myself appreciating this electronic based music for being so very grounded and earthy. The animal sounds (and approximations of such) on “Rodeo” are very fun to keep an ear out for and even a track with the most robotic beep-y qualities like “Haffmilch Holiday” laments modern woes while carrying lyrics like “I want to play dancing outside in the grass.”
Though Ticket To Fame is overtly poppy, replete with danceable beats and more than a few earworms, (check out “Ode To Boy,” the catchiest of meet-cute crush songs that morphs into 19th Century Beethoven bop) it is also deeply relaxing. Never do I feel overwhelmed by the layering of electronic effects, and I am pretty easily overwhelmed! Listeners can easily dig in or space out depending on your mood while listening. Both options are equally enjoyable.
Also, if you are out there celebrating this Barbie summer, this is an album that could easily score a beautiful pink and plastic dream world with just a bit of sharp reality pricking in. There’s such a pretty edifice here ready to be marveled at and then cracked into. It helps that my copy of the album is pressed on neon pink vinyl.
One of my favorite songs, “Destiny,” features a great call and response section punctuated with a pulsing drumbeat. It’s reminiscent of a cool new-age cult ceremony, and after experiencing the music this duo has given us, I can say I would join this fun, introspective, colorful cult of Decisive Pink.