Dirty Projectors have been wowing critics and fans with strong material for years, and have recently impressed with ther Dark Was The Night David Byrne collaboration. But now, they’ve released their latest LP, Bitte Orca, and it’s nothing short of wonderful.
What we have here is something sweet, melodic and experimental. Drums go from consistent to erratic almost randomly and the guitars seem to do the same. It’s as if a seemingly average song is interrupted, in a good way, by inspired musical creativity. Songwriting is clearly a strong suit of the band, and the performance shows a great understanding and chemistry.
But what really sets Bitte Orca apart are the vocals. The sweet, soft melodic tones contrast sharply and beautifully against frontman Dave Longstreth’s own strange, crying voice. Pit against an army of instruments, from violin to synth to the ever-present acoustic guitar, the band creates a beautiful new world.
This is all-too evident on the not-necessarily-so-obvious single “Stillness Is The Move,” a song that captures the essence of what Longstreth is going for here. “Useful Chamber” gives the same idea, but in a much different way. The album winds down on “Remade Horizon” which highlights relatively more traditional song writing and bids a sweet farewell.
Already well-respected in the world of music, Longstreth has one-upped himself on the new album. The songs recycle a lot of the same ideas and techniques, leading to some annoying repetition, but I’m willing to forgive and forget. I’ve already talked about how 2009 has brought us new, artistic music and Bitte Orca is no exception. It is just another in the line 0f wonderful, artistically brave albums to grace our ears this year.