As a writer and a musician, I like to fancy myself an artist — a creative with vision, capable of creating moving pieces of art that challenge and inspire. And then a band like Dirty Projectors comes into my life and makes me wonder if I oughtn’t just give it all up and go back to school to study accounting or something practical.
Virtuosic musician David Longstreth, the man behind the Brooklyn progressive-indiepop-highlife sextet, is a true genius — known for finger-picking his way through impossibly tangled, beautifully sloppy guitar runs whilst belting out innovative melodies over top of even innovative-er vocal harmony arrangements (see: “Remade Horizon” or “When the World Comes to an End”).
Longstreth is bringing his latest creation, Swing Lo Magellan, to The Fox Theater on July 27. The album was culled from 70 original songs and about 40 rough demos, according to the Domino (DP’s record label). And if that linked press release and the recently released single, “Gun Has No Trigger,” are any indication, the project has once again been reinvented.
“With Swing Lo Magellan,” writes an unnamed Domino rep, “David Longstreth shows he really doesn’t know how to do the same thing twice. This time, beyond the aughts-era duality of retromania and neophilia, and beyond his band’s reputation for dizzying, heady innovation, Longstreth has found the beautiful, generous simplicity of the heart and soul. Same as it ever was.”
What does the hell that (beautifully written piece of flackery, if you ask me) mean? I think it means that we can expect the Swing Lo Magellan‘s 12 tracks to be somewhat stripped down. I think it means Longstreth has proved that he can shred and now that he’s gotten it out of his system, he can dial back the insane licks and focus more on riffs and grooves. Not that he never did that in the past, but, come on, he’s never done it like this before:
“Gun Has No Trigger” gets its message across with little more than drums, bass and vocal harmony. The drums and bass are simple, at that. No tricky time signatures, no wild bass doodly-doos. “It’s an album of songs, an album of songwriting,” Longstreth says in the aforementioned Domino release. Indeed.
Dirty Projectors play at the Fox Theater, July 27, with support from Baltimore indie-folk-noise-pop duo Wye Oak. Tickets are $25.
Dirty Projectors, Wye Oak
July 27, 2012