Album of the Week: Dirty Projectors’ New EP, ‘About To Die’
The Dirty Projectors‘ new EP, “About To Die,” is titled after one of the top tracks on Swing Lo Magellan, the band’s newest LP, released this past July. According to the press release for SLM, Dirty Projectors’ songwriter and vocalist Dave Longstreth, wrote “70 new songs and beats” while isolated in a “weird house” in upstate New York. The result is a collection of tracks that are stripped down – raw, sparse, and emotional; other times, playful with an abundance of hand-claps and child-like lyrics (“I wanna know where you are right now/who you are right now” on ‘Simple Request’).
The two-minute “While You’re Here” is short, but sweet. The song is dedicated to Gerard Smith, the long-time bassist of TV On The Radio, who tragically died of lung cancer earlier this year. The emotive track features only Longstretch’s lamenting, yet somehow comforting, vocals and a violin – together, they form a harmonic synchronicity as the pitch rises and falls, ultimately delivering an optimistic message in the face of loss as Longstreth repeats the line: “While you were here/you were alive.” The song progresses to a lush and celestial climax where Longstreth’s vocals and the violin strings soar skyward as he sings: “My friend is rising and shining again.”
Another track on the EP, “Here Til It Says I’m Not,” is more charming and full, complete with hand claps, but follows a similar story-telling theme about the preciousness of life and living for the moment. The EP’s most notable track is the previously relesed (on this summer’s Swing Lo Magellan), “About to Die.” The Amazon release of the EP features two bonus tracks, “Desire For Love” and “Buckle Up.” In fact, we were surprised at how many online reviews of the new EP don’t even mention these two songs – which is more reason in our view to purchase Amazon’s exclusive bonus tracks version via the EP format links below.
Not long ago, the Dirty Projectors released their debut indie short film, Hi Custodian, and recently a new music video for the EP’s title track (and previously released song) “About To Die,” (see above) which features scenes from the short and was produced by Pitchfork TV.
The band are wrapping up a 24-city international tour that kicked off September 25th at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, which then took them to the Great Lake states, Japan, northern Europe, and Iceland last week.
Tonight, Nov. 11th, Dirty Projectors will wrap up their fall 2012 tour with a sold-out show at Carnegie Hall in New York City.