2009’s ‘Bitte Orca’ saw Dirty Projectors combine intricate compositions, featuring guitar and vocal acrobatics, with a more accessible, pop hook. It was their most acclaimed album to date, winning over new and old fans alike. The first track released from forthcoming album ‘Swing Lo Magellan’, ‘Gun Has No Trigger’, is a stripped-back and fairly relaxed song by Dirty Projectors’ art-pop standards.
The music is barren and somewhat naked, only a razor-sharp drum beat and reserved bass melody in terms of instrumentation. The focus is more on the vocals in the foreground and background. Lead vocalist Dave Longstreth’s voice has divided opinions in the past, yet on ‘Gun Has No Trigger’, he sounds incredibly focused, providing a great melody throughout. The female harmonies backing him vary from soothing, for the majority of the song, to sharp, during the chorus and especially at the mention of the song‘s title. It’s simplicity at its very best, and Dirty Projectors are the last band I thought I’d say that about.
Whether the rest of ‘Swing Lo Magellan’ will be as succinct as its first preview is yet to be seen. Hopefully, Dirty Projectors can find a way to balance the simple with the abstract, because they’ve already shown they can produce great music in both fields.