At times the catchy melodies and ironically jarring harmonies found on Dirty Projectors’ latest album, Bitte Orca, seem surprising, and at other times, perfectly in place. From the very first listen the Dirty Projectors certainly project something interesting. It’s the sort of sound that makes you ask, “Do you know who this is?” And for the first time in months you genuinely consider paying for the music that has somehow found its way into your head.
Bitte Orca is yet another disc from the collective’s leader, Dave Longstreth, who formerly put together an alt-rock version of Black Flag’s famed Damaged EP. Longstreth is known for masterfully grinding pleasant chords into more experimental songs, and this album is no exception. Equal parts fresh, glowing pop and adult musical genius, Bitte Orca fits well in the ringleader’s reservoir of music.
While the members of Dirty Projectors are in a state of flux from record to record, Bitte Orca was put together by a spectacular cluster of musicians in addition to the single constant member, Longstreth: Amber Coffman (guitar and vocals), Angel Deradoorian (bass and vocals), and Brian McComber (drums). Sometimes sing-songy, sometimes haunting, and just as frequently introspective, the group’s collaboration has resulted in an album easily described as a success. The two women (Coffman and Deradoorian) who support the music with their wistful voices also act as the cover of the album for the new release. Longstreth poses solo on the back.
Currently on tour, Dirty Projectors are playing the last of their sold out shows around the US and moving on to Europe through September. If given the opportunity to catch the band live, you might want to jump at it. Or, if you just want to see what you might be missing out on, give the band a listen on their Myspace page.
As a whole Bitte Orca seems fitting for a warm day with a light breeze—nothing too heavy, and though there’s no promise you’ll dance, there’s a very good chance you’ll feel good about what you’re listening to.