I have a love/hate relationship with the Dirty Projectors. Their last album Bitte Orca, which came out in 2009, felt like a chaotic mess to me. I’m all for loud, weird music, but that album just didn’t vibe with me. It felt weird for the sake of being weird. Last week though they released a new album called Swing Lo Magellan, and well, I’m really loving it. With Magellan it feels like they’ve focused the weird and have made a really unique sounding album of it.
I’ve posted my two favorite tracks above to give you a sample of what to expect. The first is About To Die, which has such a great hook, complimented by chorus of sirens to further push the idea that you’re “about to die.” THe erratic drumbeat and hand claps keep the rhythm of the song moving and upbeat. But you can still hear the weirdness, like the fact that at the 2:24 mark you suddenly get this huge surge of strings that rise out of nowhere. It’s odd, but amazingly done.
The other track is the self-titled track from the album and it feels like a whole different universe. It’s like a mellow pop song from the late 60s. It’s simple in it’s execution, a lovely piece of music that you could listen to on repeat for hours on end. Overall I think this may be one of my favorite albums of the year so far. I’ve had so many of these songs stuf in my head for the last week, so I’m sure that’s a good sign.