With Dirty Projectors’ swelling and beautiful new album, Swing Lo Magellan, David Longstreth shows he really doesn’t know how to do the same thing twice. Where prior DPs albums investigated 20th-century orchestration (The Getty Address), aerated the aesthetics of ’80s hardcore and West African guitar music (Rise Above), and explored complex contrapuntal techniques in human voices (Bitte Orca and Mt Wittenberg Orca), Swing Lo Magellan is a leap forward again – with Dirty Projectors delving into the beautiful, generous simplicity of the heart and soul. “It’s an album of songs, an album of songwriting,” says Longstreth. The songs of Swing Lo Magellan are culled from a sprawling twelve months of constant writing and recording in a weird house in Delaware County, New York. Swing Lo Magellan bears the impress of this informal working style: The album is a collection of moments: Accidental, fortuitous, spontaneous. The performances feel warm and imperfect. Unguarded intimacy is somewhat of a new look for this band, and it turns out to be a good one. Swing Lo Magellan has both the handmade intimacy of a love letter and the widescreen grandeur of a blockbuster, and if that sounds like a paradox – it’s because it was … Until now.
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