Dirty Projectors: Swing Lo Magellan – album review

Dirty Projectors: Swing Lo Magellan (Domino Records)
Release Date: July 9th (international), July 10th (U.S.)

Experimental indie band The Dirty Projectors are about to release the follow up to their well received 2009 album Bitte Orca. We’ve been listen to it, read on to see what we thought.

Dirty Projectors offer everything from the accessible to the avant-garde in their musical catalog, and their list of stylistic influences is extraordinarily long and disparate. In the band’s latest effort, Swing Lo Magellan, ambient and pop sensibilities intersect. The result is a collection of songs that are both experimental and approachable, and likely to satisfy long-term and new fans alike. Swing Lo Magellan is the band’s sixth studio album and second release on Domino Records, and was written and produced by founding member and frontman, David Longstreth.

Swing Lo Magellan flows without a misstep, and is perhaps best experienced if listened to start-to-finish. Despite each song taking on a unique atmosphere of its own, there is a sense of cohesion that carries each song straight through to the next. Although hearing the record in full highlights the articulate composition and interesting production values, many tracks stand tall by themselves. “Offspring Are Blank” and “About to Die,” the first two tracks, are driven by strong beats and are insatiably catchy. Other gems include “Impregnable Question,” “The Socialites,” and the previously-released single, “Gun Has No Trigger.”

It has been established that Dirty Projectors are fond of switching up their musical style with each release. This idea is reflected in their varied musical arsenal, as well as a glance at their ever-changing band roster. With that in mind, it comes as little surprise that there is a newness to Swing Lo Magellan. Here, there is a strong focus on melody, hooks and beats that drive a number of the CDs greatest songs. These techniques – often integral to commercial pop – are what redefine 2012’s Dirty Projectors from the 2009 Bitte Orca incarnation of the group, but that’s not to say that they’ve made a pop record. This is undisputedly an eccentric, multi-layered and ambient disc, though the clear broadening of Dirty Projectors’ stylistic scope makes it one of their most approachable releases to date.

Swing Lo Magellan will be available for purchase July 9th, but you can stream the album this week on the Guardian and New York Times websites.

All words by Maren McGlashan. You can read more from Maren here.

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Maren lives on the East Coast of the United States. She is a film student with an interest in sound design, with dreams of becoming a Foley artist. Maren is into vintage punk rock, edgy fashion and DIY culture. She hasn\'t made the transition from CD to mp3, and has a killer LP collection. We\'re still waiting for her to enter the 21st century...


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