Review

Dirty Projectors

Swing Lo Magellan

Domino • 2012

In various ways, »Swing Lo Magellan« is a rather unsual record for Dirty Projectors. For the first time, songwriter and band-mastermind from Brooklyn, David Longstreth, used the production process to distance himself from the usual conceptual techniques that made him stand out in the past. In more than one year, he recorded more than 40 songs and declared »Swing Lo Magellan« to be a song collection of no other principle than Longstreth’s authorship. In the end, 12 songs have made it onto the latest studio album and in fact there’s hardly been a Projectors-record on which the single elements function so independently from one another. Because while »Swing Lo Magellan« does not give up the intuitive and always somewhat uneasy musical frame of the former records, the song’s structures have never been as transparent and understandable. It’s a new kind of comprehensibility, which, of course, does not pass without comment. Because Dirty Projectors is always a somewhat spiritual music in the tension between expression and immediate reflection. All these things come together when Amber Coffmann sings on »Unto Cesar« – while David Longstreth rhymes »mercenary barbary« with »martyr’s morbid poetry« – from the background: »Uh, that doesn’t make any sense, what you just said«. It does make sense to us though.