By Lee Anderson
The origins of Crooked Flower go all the way back to when Daniel Erik, age four, visited the home studio of St. Louis songwriter and guitarist Dan Ingberman. Inspired by the array of instruments and recording equipment, Erik took up the guitar and was already giving concerts by the first grade. In 2011, age eighteen, Erik moved to Berkeley, California, where Ingberman was then teaching and the two musicians began playing together.
Three years later, they recruited drummer Patrick Shields and singer, guitarist, and keyboardist Angelina Dang who had already established herself as an R&B singer. Since then, Crooked Flower has recorded three albums at Green Day's Jingletown Studios in Oakland.
The music video (above) is for the song “Around and Around,” a single from their upcoming album due in April. It begins with Dang, her straight orange hair bracketed by headphones, superimposed over a tunneling, kaleidoscopic back drop. The rest of the band appears behind her as she begins singing, her previous smile betraying what the song is going to be about:
“You left me all alone / Left me sitting by the side of the road,” she sings. “You made me laugh / But you mad me cry / Made me feel like I was going to die…”
The music of the song is quirky, chirpy, and catchy while the lyrics continue to express anguish: “Baby, I just can’t take it no more / Oh, baby, I just can’t fake it no more…” Heavy lyrics for such a fun song.
The video soon morphs into a tapestry of Dang surrounded by her various bandmates in a recording studio. Their images blend with time lapsed train tunnels, amorphous, gelatinous tubing, hyper blue lightning, and a slow, iridescent rain of fireworks, among other random things. It looks cool as shit actually.
“Around and Around” contains a psychedelic slowed-down, Robert Smith-ish bridge. A cascade of dollar bills surrounds Dang’s face. The way she then sings to the camera with brows raised, intense eyes glaring as her lips make a sexy snarl causes me to believe that this song (or this part of it anyway) is actually directed at someone she personally knows. The money is now aflame. “That job of yours ain’t gonna make you rich / Yeah, that sucks and you’re a bitch…Bitch, bitch, BITCH!”
The song regains its original pace and feel-good rhythm. She’s vindicated and loving it. Or grooving out to it anyway. No sweeter revenge than a song this good.