Dirty Projectors: New Attitude EP

[5 November 2006]

By Nate Dorr

Dave Longstreth has at least as many live Projectors incarnations as albums out, switching from string quartets and wordless backup vocals to stripped-down solo acoustic at will.  When I last saw him live, playing the warbled folk of the latter incarnation, it seemed natural to group him with the “New Weird America” set (Banhart, Newsom, et al), but then an EP like this one comes along and reminds me of why that connection isn’t more frequently drawn.  The seven new attitudes on display here seem to maintain a vague veneer of folk, but also lurch between electronic blip accompaniment, noisy backup vocal arrangements, sudden falsetto, oozing cello drone, scratchy keys-and-flute jams, and operatic orchestration reminiscent of the last full-length.  Closer “To the Mall”, for instance, begins as a simple piece first for strummed guitar and later for a layered chorus of voices, but halfway through pauses and veers unexpectedly into spastic Casio-preset-pop featuring an intermittent melody like the disconnected phone number noise.  While New Attitudes lacks any of the cohesion of vision present on the full-lengths, there’s something invigorating about these jumbled, mismatched songs, and EPs between albums are the perfect outlet for such wild experimentation.  Now I’m just curious to see what angle gets developed on the next full-length.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/the-dirty-projectors-new-attitude-ep/