Brooklyn-based band Dirty Projectors have been releasing albums since 2002, but until this year, have been largely seen as too conceptual and highbrow to be listenable. Frontman, Dave Longstreth, is a Yale grad with a propensity for the inventive and experimental. Past albums include ornate interpretations of Black Flag songs, theatrical orchestral pieces, and inspiration from just about every musical genre you can imagine.
Their June release, Bitte Orca, does not break from their pattern of imaginative tracks, drawing inspiration from all different styles; it is, however, their first album to seem like a cohesive set, with a sound accessible to a much broader audience. The songs are still intricate enough to keep a listener’s interest, but do not lose them in overly abstract departures, as in the past.
Earlier this year, Dirty Projectors also collaborated with David Byrne on Dark Was the Night, a compilation album put out by Red Hot AIDS Benefit Series and produced by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of the band The National. Their track, “Knotty Pine,” is lead by bright acoustic guitars and the driving harmonies of the band’s female vocalists, Amber Coffman, Angel Deradoorian, and Haley Dekle; and the Talking Heads tinge can be clearly heard.
The band is set to release a new EP, entitled “Temecula Sunrise,” next month. Only time will tell if Dirty Projectors will continue with their approachable art-pop rock sound or head back to the unpredictable world of experimental rock.