Dirty Projectors - Swing Lo Magellan
Difficult and adventurous album mixes discordance and accessibility
Fresh from his recent collaboration with Björk, Dave Longstreth appears to have had his mind further opened by several degrees. Upon early listens this album appears to be a work of flawed but undoubtedly ambitious genius, certainly when you hear a song like ‘Just From Chevron’, a full-voiced croon with echoes of Edwyn Collins and an almost wilful musical discordancy. The theme continues: the climax of ‘Dance For You’ is like two different songs playing over one another and ‘See What She Saying’ pairs Longstreth’s voice with a hum of electronic chatter. There are more accessible pieces – the gospel hum and Who-like rock explosion of ‘Offspring Are Blank’ and the homespun charm of the title track – but occasional comparisons with The Beatles’ White Album apply to this record’s difficulty as well as its sense of adventure.