Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Here ‘Til It Says I’m Not” by Dirty Projectors from the 2012 EP About To Die on Domino.
Formed in Brooklyn by then-Yale freshman David Longstreth, Dirty Projectors’ complex art-school take on indie rock has evolved from an abstract-leaning art project to a six-member band that sits in indie rock’s upper echelon and boasts Jay-Z as a fan. Although Longstreth first gained attention or his conceptual projects (2005’s The Getty Address and 2007’s Rise Above, a concept album about The Eagles’ Don Henley and a from-memory recreation of Black Flag’s Damaged, respectively), Dirty Projectors eventually evolved into a fully-fledged band, making waves with their 2009 breakthrough Bitte Orca, a mixture of intricate vocal gymnastics, unpredictable rhythms, and scratchy guitar licks that streamlined the DPs sound into their most (relatively) accessible set of songs to that point. Inspired by his relationship with bandmate Amber Coffman, Longstreth wrote a set of more straightforward and intimate tunes for the band’s latest album, 2012’s Swing Lo Magellan. “Here ‘Til It Says I’m Not”, a track from the subsequent About To Die EP, continues Longstreth’s introspective streak. Housing soft, meditative verses and a chorus uplifting the “things we do and the time we spend”, it’s more direct and pensive than nearly anything else Dirty Projectors have released to this point. For the first time, Longstreth sounds like he’s less focused on making art to complicate and densify his expressions and more interested in using art to deconstruct some of life’s bigger topics.
Dirty Projectors are currently on a break from the road, but they’ll be back in Washington in as part of the lineup for the 2013 Sasquatch Music Festival. Check out the rest of their tour dates at their website and keep up with the band’s whereabouts on tour on their Facebook. Watch the band play “Here ‘Til It Says I’m Not” live for Spinner last year below.