Dirty Projectors Swing Lo Magellan

Dirty Projectors Swing Lo Magellan
Until now, each Dirty Projectors release has felt like a jump into a new medium. But after the overwhelming triumph, both artistically and commercially, of Bitte Orca, singer/guitarist and group mastermind David Longstreth has decided to stick around long enough to hone his craft rather than broaden his skillset. After years of flux, the band's line-up is a (mostly) steady concern, as is their sound. Bitte Orca showcased Longstreth's noodly guitar hooks and Amber Coffman and Haley Dekle's vocal operatics, but from the opening stomps of "Offspring are Blank," Swing Lo Magellan is all about rhythm. "Gun Has No Trigger" ― the closest thing to the indie-R&B swing of "Stillness is the Move" ― is driven by its shuffling drumbeat, not Longstreth's surprisingly soulful vocal melody. No doubt, some serious miles logged on the road honed the group's playing and it sounds as if the interplay between the drums and bass with the rest of the group was front and centre in Longstreth's mind when writing and arranging the album's 12 tracks. The guitar and vocal interplay ― what most would argue is the key component of the band's sound ― are still at the forefront, but the bulk of the record's tracks feel built off the rhythm section, from the ground up. Swing Lo Magellan lacks Bitte Orca's thrill of discovery, both for the musicians and the listener. But the leaner, meaner approach to songwriting ensures the record is as good as its stellar predecessor. (Domino)