In just a few words, Swing Lo Magellan (out today on Domino Records), is an exceptional, brilliant album. From the stark rock mind of David Longstreth, Dirty Projectors‘ seventh studio album brings out uncontrollable energy and fizzing tunes that explore a variety of musical outlets. Opening with monotone humming in “Offspring Are Blank” the song develops into a spring of sweet, delicious “oohs,” followed by something reminiscent of a rock opera. For an experimental band, Dirty Projectors unexpectedly emerge with infectious songs. Their previous album, Bitte Orca showed bits of Eastern influence like the song “No Intention” with mystical finger picking on the acoustic guitar and soft, calm “ahh”s from background singers Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian. It was also subtle and folk-y at times, whereas Swing Lo Magellan is much more of a playful, instrumental record and even crosses into the boundaries of electronic rock. The song, “Just From Chevron” definitely reminds me of Minus the Bear and its bountiful use of electronic bips and beats. Other songs such as “Dance for You” recall the likes of The Beatles with perfect, low-toned harmonies from Longstreth, but with a string section solo in the middle. Each piece on this album is different from the next, which can usually serve as a good or a bad thing. In the case of this album, it evokes a metropolis of love, intrigue, and desperation – a fresh outlook of music in the modern world. You can stream the album for free on the The Guardian and purchase the album here. Dirty Projectors are part of the Made in America Festival from September 1-3 along with Jay-Z, Passion Pit, Skrillex, Pearl Jam, and many others. You can buy your tickets to the festival here.
Take a look at the music video for the first single off the album, “Gun Has No Trigger”. The presence of David, Angel, and Amber emerge as silhouettes with sparks of realistic imagery.