Posts Tagged ‘Dave Longstreth’

The entire sequence of EPs is available as a single cohesive twenty-song anthology. Titled “5EPs”, the collection spans the existential folk of Windows Open sung by Friedman, Douglass’s future soul on Flight Tower, Longstreth’s endless melody on Super João, and the recomposed orchestral glitch that backs Slipp across Earth Crisis. As everyone trades verses on Ring Road, these closing four songs serve as conversations among a group where “every member is talented enough to be the lead” (Time). With three- and four-part harmonies, dual guitar lines, ecstatic hooks and the propulsive drumming of Mike Johnson, the emotional and sonic threads of the previous entries are filtered through classic signatures of full-band Dirty Projectors. As Entertainment Weekly says, “[5EPs] captures a more intangible motif: the celebration of creativity and the fortuitous bonds that form.”

It’s a strange coincidence that Dirty Projectors’ founder and sole core member David Longstreth would switch up his approach in 2020. As a musician and songwriter whose defining modus operandi for the last eighteen years has been that of multi-personnel collaboration (save for 2017’s self-titled, which is the project’s only solo album to date), he found himself increasingly drawn toward changing the band’s sound to one that emphasizes its individual members, rather than the sum of its parts, following the release of 2018’s Lamp Lit Prose

This question of whether “[everyone] could be the lead singer of this band” eventually fermented into the project’s latest release5EPs,wherein Longstreth sat for individual sessions with each of the group’s singing members, working both musically and lyrically to create four-track extended plays that highlight each performer’s abilities. The end result is a varied final effort, one that represents the project’s most diverse offering to date. From the stripped-down acoustics of Maia Friedman’s Windows Open, to the cool electro of Felicia Douglass’ Flight Tower, to the glitching orchestral fanfare of Kristin Slipp’s Earth Crisisthe landscape of 5EPs feels like a decidedly focused experiment in honing the outfit’s scattered, genre-averse sound into concise suites.

Moreover, 5EPs represents, in Longstreth’s view, a novel approach toward song writing, one that involves “trusting where the words fall” and enabling lyrical improvisation that’s porous and non-meticulous—a decisive break from his methods on the last two records.

Documenting a series of slow-motion smiles, spinning heads and splashes of water to the face, “My Possession” marks the sixth official music video Dirty Projectors have shared since the start of this new chapter. They’ve also released a breathtaking short film for Earth Crisis, remixes from Chromeo and Felicia’s father Jimmy “The Senator” Douglass, a timely and tasteful cover of John Lennon’s “Isolation,” and a multitude of live performances ranging from pre-pandemic acoustic jams in Dave’s living room to remotely-recorded productions for Full Frontal with Samantha BeeNPR’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concerts and more.

5EPs was produced, mixed and recorded by Dave Longstreth, and lyrics were written in collaboration with the respective band member featured on each installment. While the limited edition, foiled and numbered box set has now sold out, 5EPs is available as a standard black double LP,

Band Members: Mike Johnson (drums), Felicia Douglass (percussion/vocals), Maia Friedman (guitar/vocals) and Kristin Slipp (keyboards, vocals), and David Longstreth (bandleader, guitarist, and lead vocalist).

Dirty Projectors – My Possession (Official Video) Out now on Domino Record Co.

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Dirty Projectors (the project led by Dave Longstreth) are releasing five EPs this year and on Thursday they shared, “Inner World,” another new song from one of them, via a video for the track. “Inner World” features lead vocals from keyboardist/percussionist Felicia Douglass and is taken from their next EP, Flight Tower, which is due out June 26th via Domino Recordings. Longstreth directed the video himself.
Douglass had this to say about the song in a press release: “Today we’re happy to share ‘Inner World,’ the next song from Flight Tower. We hope it can bring you serenity and solace during this tumultuous moment in history. The past few weeks have felt like an eternity, but now is not the time for silence or defeat. There’s always more to learn if you’re willing and that’s an incredible gift. Keep sharing information, asking questions, and using your eyes and your voice so we can work together towards a future that benefits everyone.”

Previously the band shared Flight Tower song “Lose Your Love,” via a video for the track. “Lose Your Love” also featured lead vocals from Douglass. Flight Tower is actually the second EP in the series, the first one, Windows Open, was released in March.
Each EP will highlight a different vocalist from the band. Maia Friedman took the lead on Windows Open and Douglas takes the lead on every song on Flight Tower. The band’s current lineup also features Kristin Slipp and Mike Johnson.

Previously we shared two songs from Windows Open: “Overlord,” a new song the band shared in February via a video for the track, and “Search For Life,” shared via a lyric video in March. All five EPs will be later collected in one box set.

  • Limited edition foiled number box
  • 5 x 12” colored vinyl cut @ 45rpm
  • Each 12” individually packaged in their own sleeves
  • EPs 4 & 5 12”s available exclusively in box set
  • Includes booklet of art & lyrics
  • Download card for all 5 EPs
  • Shipping by Dec 4th or earlier
  • More elements to be revealed over time. Details are subject to change.

March’s Windows Open and June’s Flight Tower are the first two installments in a sequence of five Dirty Projectors EPs to come in 2020.

Each EP will feature a different band member on lead vocals — Maia, Felicia, Kristin & Dave — with everyone trading verses on the fifth and final installment.

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Today, Dave Longstreth, Dirty Projectors bandleader, has shared a cover of “Isolation” by Plastic Ono Band. It is available exclusively on Bandcamp; listen below. My cover of Plastic Ono Band’s “Isolation” is up for streaming & purchase exclusively on Bandcamp. All proceeds through April 3rd are going toward MusiCares’ COVID-19 relief fund for musicians and music industry folks whose work has been disrupted by the crisis It’s a very fine version of John Lennon’s great song from his legendary John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album. And when coupled with a great cause, what’s not to like?.


On the track, Dave said,
“All proceeds through April 3rd are going toward MusiCares’ COVID-19 relief fund for musicians and music industry folks whose work has been disrupted by the crisis. So I encourage you to buy it (pay-what-you-wish) and we can be a part of helping combat this together

released March 19th, 2020

Written by John Lennon, Produced, performed and mixed by Dave Longstreth.

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2009 was a really special year for indie rock. It felt like this year where it really felt like indie rock was gonna overtake whatever mainstream rock was in 2009, which was still like Linkin Park and Creed, or whatever. It felt like this brief year where the biggest rock records of the year were by these weird bands from Brooklyn: Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest, Phoenix’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix —  this Dirty Projectors record for the 10th anniversary;  actually to be released in 2020.

2009 was this really great Golden Period for indie rock, and there are so many records to celebrate from that year. “Bitte Orca” is sort of the moment where the Dirty Projectors became more than an art rock band. This guy from Yale, Dave Longstreth, had been making pretty weird records leading up to this; this album was the one where this band could suddenly play big theaters, they’re no longer playing lofts in Brooklyn. You actually said you were lookin’ for a song with some bop in it, earlier… “Stillness is the Move” is the boppiest Dirty Projectors record ever.

Longstreth had started gathering ideas for the Dirty Projectors album, Bitte Orca, he took imaginary artists squatting in the sprawl and put them in a song, “Temecula Sunrise.” In the opening movement, he sings over intricate acoustic fingerpicking:

“I live in a new construction home / I live on the strip behind the dealership, yeah / I live in a greenhouse and I am getting wasted”

As the song progresses, it gets louder and more raucous: bright electric guitar; hard-driving drums; tight, jaunty bass; and — perhaps most importantly — near-constant interaction between Longstreth’s singing and backup vocals from Amber Coffman, Angel Deradoorian, and Haley Dekle. It sounds like something that might have been made in the house the lyrics describe, with people dropping in unannounced, layering new ideas into the song on the fly, playing loud in the basement. In part because it appears early in the album, I’ve always experienced it as a conceptual support beam for much of what follows. It has the effect of a question: Do you maybe want to come and join the party? Is it time?

Definitely you can come and live with us / I know there’s a space for you in the basement, yeah / All you gotta do is help out with the chores and dishes / And I know you will”

Bitte Orca, 10 years after its original release, still retains its awe-inspiring power; its knotty, complex, stunning compositions have not been dulled by the passing of time, and in context, seem even more radical. The two albums leading up to Bitte Orca were a from-memory recreation of a Black Flag album (2007’s Rise Above) and a “glitch opera” about Eagles frontman Don Henley (2005’s The Getty Address). So when Bitte Orca came out, with its complex choral arrangements, and its deconstructed avant-pop and R&B, it felt like a shock to the system, a left-field masterpiece from out of nowhere. Bitte Orca would start a fertile creative period for the band, and cement frontman David Longstreth as one of the most adventurous indie rock auteurs.

In addition to the sheer infectiousness of the music itself, which cannot be overlooked — the album has endured so successfully: measure by measure, line by line, song by song, it reminds us of everything we wanted, all the ways those wants were and weren’t realized, and, most of all, the joyful news that the journey isn’t yet over.

Bitte Orca has always been one of those albums that sends critics scrambling for elaborate strings of influences and reference points: rock meets R&B with a helping of African guitar, plus lyrics referencing Nietzsche, the Biblical Song of Solomon, and X and Y and Z.

This single from Dirty Projectors’ Lamp Lit Prose maintains the band’s trademark indie/art rock fusion while continuing the electronic/R&B sound from last year’s self-titled record. The song and album mark “a recommitment to the sounds and ideals of Dirty Projectors, embracing the band’s trademarks while pushing forward the sonic envelope” with guitars and intricate harmonies returning to the fold, as evidenced by “Break-Thru.” The lyrical content is another shift for the group, as frontman Dave Longstreth seeks “a restorative balance” after his breakup with former Dirty Projectors bandmate and ex-girlfriend Amber Coffman. Longstreth sings, “She’s a break-thru / Under the sun, there’s nothing new / But she keeps it 100 in the shade, she’s a break-thru / It’s cold out here, that’s nothing new / But she keeps it 100, she’s a break-thru.”

This album by one of the powerhouses of indie rock, released by a major indie label might feel like a weird inclusion here, but when the Dirty Projectors make their best album since Bitte Orca , and it’s met with a muted response, it ends up here. David Longstreth’s narrative was too tidy for 2017’s Dirty Projectors — guy breaks up with his creative muse, they make albums from different sides of a breakup — so this album, which is largely about new love and finding personal fulfillment and salvation in a new lover, felt like it was tacked on as a coda to a story that’s already been written. But songs like “I Found It In You” and the bonkers doo-wop of “What Is The Time” deserved better; they should be soundtracking the artisanal bakeries and kombucha bars of Williamsburg and the Highlands and Silver Lake right now.

Dirty Projectors – “Break-Thru” from ‘Lamp Lit Prose’, out now on Domino Record Co.