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Dirty Projectors

Lamp Lit Prose


Jul 13, 2018 Dirty Projectors Bookmark and Share

Taking a new Dirty Projectors record for a spin is always a qualified step into uncertainty. The basics will feel the same but that’s about it.

Lamp Lit Prose is no exception, changing direction from the maudlin, polyrhythmic glitchy dance of last year’s self-titled seventh LP. Back then Dave Longstreth was finally unburdening himself of the bitter heartbreak following the end of his relationship with former Dirty Projectors member Amber Coffman.

Now the sun is shining. No more “Death Spiral,” no more “Up In Hudson.” Instead, with clipped guitar and jazzy brass instrumentation, Longstreth is on the up. Gloom begone, hello to the likes of the zippy “Break-Thru” and sweet ‘I Found It In U.”

Opener “Right Now” sets the mood with a Vampire Weekend twang. Longstreth starts bleak but it’s a bluff. Where first he’s singing “The sky has darkened/earth turned to hell” moments later he’s found hope.

At times it goes too far. “I Feel Energy” is worryingly like Jemaine Clement snuck into the studio and hijacked the chorus. “Break-Thru” also has its Flight of the Conchords moments, lyrics riffing on electricity in a very “Carol Brown” way.

While they don’t feature as guests, plenty do including HAIM, Dear Nora, Amber Mark, Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold, and Rostam. It’s an impressive list put to work beside the long-term rhythm section of Nat Baldwin and Mike Johnson. They provide the consistency that allows Longstreth to turn on a dime once more.

That’s Lamp Lit Prose then, a summer record full of love, guitars, and a far happier outlook than anyone would have expected from Longstreth a year on from the utter devastation of his last release. But a Dirty Projectors record sounding just like the last one wouldn’t be much of a Dirty Projectors record now would it? (www.dirtyprojectors.net)

Author rating: 7/10

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