All the Way Around
Swing Lo Magellan, the sixth studio album from experimental indie-rockers Dirty Projectors, comes highly-anticipated following 2009’s success from Bitte Orca, and while Angel Deradoorian’s vocals are greatly missed while she takes a hiatus from the band, the album proves the band can carry on just fine.
Frontman Dave Longstreth is the brains behind the operation. He wrote the album alone in upstate New York, with visits from guitarist/vocalist Amber Coffman (who are both featured on the album cover, along with Longstreth’s neighbor), and then invited the rest of the band up to record—which he also did himself.
“Offsprings Are Blank” kicks off the album well, featuring a roller coaster of sound, from the electric guitar in the first chorus to an acoustic one in the second, the soft, gospel-like vocals and the strong, consistent beat throughout. Longstreth comes in to sing the opening lines amidst it all: “There was a single one then there were ten / When ten made a hundred and a hundred million / You came and spoke to me.”
Nothing lets up in second track “About to Die,” which features high-pitched supporting female vocals and impressively displays the intricacies Longstreth puts into each song. The album’s self-titled song “Swing Lo Magellan” is soft and sweet. Coffman dominates the vocals in “The Socialites.” And “Irresponsible Tune” is both incredibly personal lyrically and simple and lovely instrumentally.
While still technical and purposeful, Swing Lo Magellan benefits from being a lighter-sounding record and provides its listeners the ability to become emotional. This is a nice piece to add to Dirty Projectors’ extensive collection and can be listened to over and over.