Dirty Projectors manage to be both avant-garde and accessible – the band plays experimental rock you can still dance to. They've collaborated with BjÃ¶rk and David Byrne, and been covered by Solange Knowles (sister of Beyoncé).
Dave Longstreth, the band's lead guitarist and songwriter, was 13 years old when he discovered Revolution in the Head, British music critic Ian MacDonald's book deconstructing the Beatles songbook in minute detail. "It just blew my mind that a lot of those Beatles records were made on four-tracks," he remembers. "It just gave me this sense like, 'Oh, we can do something like this, my brother and I, sitting in our bedroom.'"
Longstreth went on to study composition at Yale and is inspired by a wide variety of sources: from "the weird, kaleidoscopic orchestrations of Ligeti in the 60s," to his brother's punk collection, to "Geoff Emerick's approach to miking the drum kit." He tells Kurt Andersen that while the band's last album, Bitte Orca (2009), was preoccupied with "surfaces and textures and colors and explicitly musical things," words are at the heart of their new album, Swing Lo Magellan. "It's a little bit more internal and it comes a little bit more out of experience."
The band performs acoustic versions of "Just From Chevron" and "Impregnable Question" live in the studio.
Bonus Track: "The Socialites"From Dirty Projectors' recent performance on WNYC's Spinning on Air
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