Dirty Projectors Find Love in Dystopian Times on ‘Lamp Lit Prose’
David Longstreth — the songwriter behind Dirty Projectors — is usually a man who’s rapturously in love for most of his eighth studio album, “Lamp Lit Prose.” Within the Dirty Projectors catalog, This particular is usually the joyful rebound via the bitter breakup songs of “Dirty Projectors,” the album he released in February 2017. yet that will also faces a bigger question: How should an artist respond to what America has become?
In Mr. Longstreth’s 15 years of releasing Dirty Projectors albums, “Lamp Lit Prose” is usually his shiniest, airiest, even catchiest set of songs. The completely new record exchanges the jarring, glitchy electronic intrusions in addition to arid trap percussion he used on “Dirty Projectors” for the springy guitar lines of older Dirty Projectors albums, bringing out their warmest tones. The album’s palette also features a horn section, summoning R&B punch in addition to jazz richness, powered by human breath.
Mr. Longstreth is usually still the classically trained musical oddball he was when he released “The Glad Fact” back in 2003. He still devises songs with melodies that will hop around all over the place, meshed with precisely picked guitar counterpoint that will also ricochets across the stereo channels. Yet amid the fractures in addition to complexities, Mr. Longstreth also provides nuggets of approachable melody. in addition to in completely new songs like “Blue Bird,” without second thoughts or any glimmer of irony or skepticism, Mr. Longstreth sings, “You in addition to me, me in addition to you/Something deep, something true.”
yet “Lamp Lit Prose” is usually far via carefree. The “Dirty Projectors” album was completed before the beginning of the Trump administration, with its perpetual political strife in addition to dystopian implications. Mr. Longstreth doesn’t let himself withdraw into complacent domesticity. “Lamp Lit Prose” faces the division between romantic bliss in addition to political dread — between individual comfort in addition to mass anxiety — by purposefully seesawing between them. For the (vanishing) listenership that will still approaches an album as a whole, the sequence of “Lamp Lit Prose” alternates between bleak observations on the state of the globe in addition to happy love songs. “Crazy to feel like This particular/Up in addition to down simultaneous,” Mr. Longstreth sings in “Zombie Conqueror,” that has a chorus that will contemplates “the midnight in front of us.”
Mr. Longstreth immediately sets out the album’s polarity with the willed optimism of “Right right now,” the opening song. “The sky has darkened/Earth turned to hell,” he sings over fragile, folky guitar chords as that will begins, yet by the end he finds a reason to maintain expect: “You pulled me up when you took my hand/There was silence in my heart in addition to right now I’m striking up the band.” The next song, “Break-Thru,” revels in infatuation, praising a woman’s beauty as that will bounds along on a leaping, African-tinged guitar lick. Then that will’s back to more dire reflections on corruption in addition to marketing in “that will’s a Lifestyle,” with oblique yet pointed allusions like “How could we risk the empire/As the apprentice descends into seasons of idol.”
The dialectic continues through most of the album. Yet even when Mr. Longstreth sings about mixed emotions, the music tilts toward exhilaration. inside lyrics of “I Feel Energy,” companionship gradually pulls him out of depression, yet the track is usually way ahead of him, with percussion in addition to horns evoking Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough.”
Mr. Longstreth constructed the music on “Lamp Lit Prose” largely by himself on assorted guitars in addition to keyboards, abetted percussion, horns in addition to guest singers (among them Syd via the Internet, Haim, Empress Of in addition to Amber Mark). He skirts styles like Laurel Canyon folk-pop in “You’re the One,” the Beach Boys in “Blue Bird,” British trad-rock in “Zombie Conqueror,” pop-soul in “What is usually the Time” in addition to Gil Evans-tinged ensemble arrangements in “(I Wanna) Feel that will All,” though he skews all of them toward asymmetry in addition to surprise tangents. in addition to he sounds like he’s having fun, even when his thoughts are troubled.
The album chooses a happy ending with songs about love in addition to long life, the optimistic benedictions of “You’re the One” featuring Robin Pecknold in addition to Rostam, in addition to “(I Wanna) Feel that will All.” that will’s not a withdrawal into romantic escapism. that will’s a deliberate choice to look forward in addition to seize what expect there is usually.
“Lamp Lit Prose”