Dirty Projectors

While some may still have been recovering at home on this Tuesday evening from a long weekend of festivals and madness, many picked up their socks, dusted off their frocks and made their way to the HiFi Bar to be taken on a melodious journey of sorts.


Dirty Projectors were our guides tonight, as they took us through the full spectrum of emotions and musical styles with their poignant lyrical tales, soaring vocal harmonies and delicate musicianship.


No longer fronting the one-man band as seen in years past, Dave Longstreth is joined on stage by Brian McOmber behind the kit and Nat Baldin on bass, as well as the three beauties, Angel Deradoorian, Haley Dekle and Amber Coffman, whose otherworldly voices add a harmonious complexity like no other instrument. On the tail end of their Bitte Orca tour, the eclectic six fashionably indulge us in a commendable showcase of old and new alike.


Kicking off the proceedings was the aptly titled ‘Ascending Melody', introducing the crowd to the depth of their triple-layered vocals that carry along the Afro-pop style arrangements.


Second up, the frontman demonstrates his own far-reaching vocal capacity with his fragile-sounding falsetto in ‘Remade Horizon'. From the fragile to the forceful, ‘No Intention' made all here pay attention to the brigade of stomping drums.


By the time ‘Knotty Pine' rolled around, they were well into the swing of things, keeping the sound lively with its sprightly piano riffs. While originally featuring the great David Byrne, the dual harmonies from both Longstreth and his counterpart Coffman held their own to make for a convincing performance.


For any who may have still been unconvinced, the achingly beautiful duet ‘Two Doves' set the record straight. Deradoorian enraptured the room with her angelic voice, which was made all the more discernible in the absence of musical distraction, Longstreth's lone acoustic the only instrumental backing. The reverential silence throughout the venue was only to be broken at the conclusion of this number by thunderous applause.


Older material, such as ‘Spray Paint The Walls' and ‘Fucked For Life', made their way into the setlist midway through, which saw some restlessness about the crowd. Fortunately the Projectors were able to revive their followers with their faultless performance of ‘Temecula Sunrise', an amalgamation of wailing boy/girl vocals, intricate, melodious acoustics and clangy electrics.


‘Stillness is the Move' was another noteworthy studio track on Bitte Orca that translated well into a live setting, this number drenched in sass with its rhythm and blues vocals and synchronized dance moves. A raucous closer to the main part of the set was the energetic jazz fusion-pop of ‘Useful Chamber', complete with fortissimos from the ever-so-sweet all-female choir onstage, leaving the enlivened crowd begging for more. And more they got.


After a brief interlude, the Projectors return to the stage without the percussive backing of McOmber to play a folksy-gospel style rendition of Bob Dylan's ‘I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine'.


Finally, as the set was coming to an end, it was time for ‘When The World Comes To An End'. In an ode to the creative muse who collaborated with the group on this track, Longstreth explained, "this one we've played with a woman called Björk. I've called her a woman before, she's more like a deity."


The Icelandic legend's eccentricity was re-imagined through Coffman's vocal acrobatics here, and the choral section lifts this track above the rest for an epic finale. While it may have taken some time and line-up changes along the way, The Dirty Projectors certainly have cleaned up their act.

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