Today, Dirty Projectors put out a full-length album titled Swing Lo Magellan. To put it frankly, the wacky was anticipated.
When experiencing this kind of music, “different” is an understatement. It fits no category, citing indie and experimental rock for reference, but this isn’t to be accepted as a real summary of their sound. It’s just a placeholder for critics and people googling with “WTF” written on their foreheads.
The Dirty Projectors work brilliantly with a range of vocal tones simultaneously, piecing together outrageous harmonies and layering them atop each other, sometimes extending for long stretches of time. It’s a treat to hear the girls sing together and a party when the male vocal takes the reins. When the two converge, it’s nearly hallucinagenic. This is just as strong now as it was in Bitte Orca but infused with the new sounds of steady rock, all tinged with the groovy twang of oddity.
Opener track “Offspring Are Blank” is exciting and somewhat reserved before Swing Lo Magellan turns predictably crazy on “About To Die” in an invigorating fashion.
A new and exciting hard rock guitar sound is found gracing the tracks of this new album. This band has always worked well with guitar riffs but never worked this roughly. But, alas, the Chicago Phoenix likes it rough.
In songs like “About To Die” and the album’s title track, the beat drives the sound forcefully, giving Swing Lo Magellan its signature sound. Now, drums, be it hollowed bass or softened snare, are at the forefront of the musical spectrum, acting as the driving force for their onward travels in music revolution.
The Dirty P definitely take commercial embrace as a small perk of their respective achievements. This is only to be honored and reveled as they continue as musicians-and magicians of their muse.
Fiery lead single “Gun Has No Trigger” and flowy string track “Unto Caesar” give us the best taste of “Stillness Is The Move” that we’ll see in this era. They’re both reminiscent and fabulously innovative among other concrete gems on the album. “See What She Seeing” goes as weird as the album gets, and “The Socialites” is a fun wave of change, too, spicing the charm with an electronic vibe and a singular fluid female voice. It’s a fun and pretty tale that doesn’t delve too deep, allowing musical vibes to take force in selling their message.
The only argument against Dirty Projectors is simply that this album won’t turn a skeptic into a fan upon listening to the new material. This one was made for the fans, six albums from their debut and still going strong in delivering strict DP character with no apologies. It’s not for the faint of hearing or the shallow-hearted. Swing Lo is to be taken having known what the listener is getting themself into. And with that, there is nothing more harsh to say. It’s as usual: a delivery of the ecclectic mix of sounds we anticipated in conjunction the spin of unpredictability that was probably not made final by the band itself until they picked up they started crashing their cymbals right there in the Upstate New York studio they recorded from. This can’t-look-away-car-crash of a project is some sort of brilliant, so what are you waiting for?