Sunday, August 09, 2009

What's up with the Dirty Projectors?

I started reading about the Dirty Projectors about a month ago when their Bitte Orca album came out. They seemed like the new critic's fave band: write-ups in Sunday New York Times, Rolling Stone (which I only caught because I got a free copy at work).... And somebody somewhere along the way started asking me about them. I can't remember who though, although I feel like it was someone from work. If it was you, speak up.

So anyhow, I saw that Bitte Orca was available on vinyl, which made them even more appealing to me and someone I put on my mental music list. I wound up getting the CD anyway last Monday. (A few bucks less and I was able to walk out with two items instead of one.) I was writing reviews all week, so I didn't get to listen to it until last night.

What's the story with these folks?! Don't get me wrong, I'm really into getting my senses challenged by new music these days. For instance, St. Vincent's latest is really intriguing for reasons that I still can't pinpoint. Plus it reminds me of Lida Husik a little (another Shimmy-Disc vet whose name I meant to drop in a previous entry).

But these Projector peoples seem to have taken the math rock thing and fused it to a chamber pop aesthetic. (I guess it was only a matter of time.) My wife said some of it reminded her of Shellyan Orphan and I'll take it further and say that if you cross that band with the Fiery Furnaces, you'd be dead on. I'm a Furnaces follower and feel like there's always a pop song at the core of what they're doing. With the Dirty Projectors, I'm not sure. Sometimes it seems like they just slapped some off kilter twist onto a steady 4/4 type background to see how it works. I can appreciate that, but I'm not sure how often I'll reach for that CD.

But I'm not ready to pass judgement yet. I need at least one more listen.

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