While scanning the internet today, the name White Poppy appeared in my feed due to the excellent Mish Way, and I wandered over to a floral-themed Bandcamp page to have a listen. The White Poppy is already established as a symbol for peace, and the ambient, linear songs found on this EP are imbued with calm and serenity. The Vancouver-based singer and producer just released the EP, entitled Drifter’s Gold, on July 3—that title sums up exactly how I felt discovering it.
Crystal Dorval, the woman behind White Poppy, mixes shoegaze and slowly played guitars with psychedelic vocals arranged like petals around central melodic structures.Drifter’s Gold is the second EP that Dorval has released, it’s the follow up to I Had a Dream, an EP that came out last year through Green Burrito Records. Aside from her music, she also creates all of her own art and videos to accompany the music. She created this video for “Daydreaming”—the first single off her new EP—completely on a Samsung phone, and then used Photobooth to add effects and edit the recording.
The songs were released on cassette only through the Oakland label Constellation Tatsu, but they are available for streaming below. One of my favorite things about a lot of the artists who are making music like this right now is the way they use their voices as another instrument instead of focusing on “words” or lyrical delivery.
Dorval manipulates and samples her own voice—both humming and singing—throughout the record it blooms and fades just like any of the other sounds instead of assuming central focus. The droning tones and instrumental tropes never feel boring or dragged out on the record, Crystal herself describes it as “experimental & therapeutic pop,” and there’s not much to be said that explains it better than that. Stream the EP below and look for her full-length LP coming this August.