Dirty Projectors Return to Form With Inventive New Single “Break-Thru”

Here’s more proof of the power of love, as if we need any more. It looks like dear old Cupid has given the Dirty Projectors their groove back, it’s there for all to see and hear on this inventive and infectious new song, and it’s always good to see a band return to top form. The Dirty Projectors at various times are either led by or consist entirely of singer/songwriter David Langstreth, a wordy, nerdy 21st century David Byrne with a gift for finding sweet melody lines inside unusual song structures and complex polyrhythms. He’s also an unconventional but highly skilled guitarist dealing out sweet African fingerpicking and dazzling sonic effects.

For 10-plus years the Dirty Pros were more like a musical collective where Langstreth often shared the spotlight and the lead vocals with guitarist Amber Coffman. Her voice had the ability to round out the angular corners of Langstreth’s music to sometimes brilliant effect. The problem was that Langstreth and Coffman were also a couple, thus breaking the First Rule of Rock: Don’t sleep with your bandmates. When they split up three years ago, Langstreth was sent into a tailspin, and the band was sent into limbo.

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Last year a Dirty Projectors album was released that consisted entirely of Langstreth’s vocals over a bed of electronic instrumentation – no band, not even any of his distinctive guitar. To make matters worse, they were mostly heartbreak boo-hoo breakup songs, and while there was some interesting stuff it was almost as if he was making Dirty Projector fans share in his personal suffering, to which we could only say sorry buddy, we’ve all got our problems.

So fans were surprised to hear recently that there’s already a new Dirty Projectors album on the way, and the new single reveals a very welcome return to the band’s signature sound. The dextrous and imaginative guitar bits are back, not only in the fluid beauty of the lead line, but also in the way he uses those clipped guitar squonks and groans to help the melody move along. The other thing that’s returned is the joy. Langstreth hasn’t merely found love again, this is a giddy celebration of love like he was shouting from the mountaintops:

She is an epiphany
Her electricity opens my days like she always knew
I feel like affinity, look at me, a deity
In all the ways, she’s a break-thru

The power of love can accomplish a lot of things, and in this case, it seems to have brought a band back from the dead. She must be quite the woman. The album Lamp Lit Prose hits the shelves 7/13.

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