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Decisive Pink
Ticket To Fame Zara Hedderman , June 5th, 2023 08:15

Kate NV and Angel Deradoorian team up for an album of buoyant electro-pop and carefree spirit, fidns Zara Hedderman

The Russian-born abstract painter and art theorist Wassily Kandisky believed in the power of music. “Music is the ultimate teacher,” he wrote in Concerning the Spiritual in Art in 1912. Here, he was exploring the ways that music (“the most non-material of the arts today,” he posited) can inspire artists, of all disciplines, to a place of enlightenment that can facilitate true experimentalism and expression. Two decades later, he would create a commanding oil on canvas called Decisive Pink .

Having listened to Ticket To Fame, the dynamic debut album from Angel Deradoorian and Kate NV, it’s not surprising that they drew inspiration from Kandinsky in naming their project Decisive Pink. Prefacing the eleven track release, the pair noted that the material was inspired by several different themes, chief amongst them being “how we communicate in these uncertain times”. Amidst a vibrant palette of synths, floating flute accompaniments, exuberant drum samples and heavenly vocal harmonies between the duo, Ticket To Fame manages to strike an engaging balance between absurdism whilst presenting various scenarios (the rush of online shopping, in particular, on ‘Dopamine’) that are firmly rooted in reality. This duality of tones and themes perfectly reflect Decisive Pink’s desire to, as expressed on ‘Ode To Boy’, “Go beyond the ordinary”.

Tonally, especially throughout the opening half of the record, there’s a strong 80s undercurrent to the buoyant electro-pop arrangements. There are times where Decisive Pink will make you think of Tangerine Dream’s soundtrack work on Michael Mann’s 1981 release Thief with ‘What Where’ or make you want to reach for Talking Heads’ Remain In Light which provides the blueprint for ‘Destiny’. Later, too, the influence of Tina Weymouth lingers heavily in Decisive Pink’s sound. The aforementioned ‘Dopamine’ details the sparks of reward ignited when filling virtual baskets and committing to online checkouts: “Sitting at home / Feeling alone / Staring at my laptop and telephone / I’m browsing the sites / I’m trying to find / Something to fill the void and pleasure my mind.” As their vocals converse with one another, adding texture and depth to the arrangement, there’s a distinct likeness to Weymouth and co. as heard on the Tom Tom Club’s eponymous debut from 1981. The similarity is striking, but not distracting.

It’s extremely fun and rewarding to pay close attention to Ticket To Fame’s multifaceted compositions. Certain melodic structures and timbres instantly transport you to another realm or “Life in the sky,” as they sing on the colourful and expansive ‘Cosmic Dancer’. And yet, references to frappucinos and acquiring discount codes bring both the band and listener firmly back to Earth, and make you want to listen keenly to what they’re saying because within the absurdism, there’s plenty to relate to.

There’s an irresistible carefree spirit shining in tracks like ‘Haffmilch Holiday’ which is nicely contrasted with more tempered moments such as the immediately captivating ‘Voice Note’ on which their vocals bounce around and create a meditative space. The act of reflection continues on ‘Rodeo’ as bird song carries in the background as a mild Kraut arrangement unfolds throughout its five minute duration. In their pursuit of experimentation, Decisive Pink have accomplished a great deal with this expansive body of work.