Fire Note Says: About To Die serves as a nice coda to the Swing Lo Magellan lp and puts a nice bow on the year for their fans.
Album Review: By all accounts there were close to 40 songs worked on during sessions for this year’s excellent Dirty Projectors lp, Swing Lo Magellan. This ep serves as the single for “About To Die”, one of the standouts from that lp, as well as 3 songs from the same sessions, and as a bonus, also includes both tracks from their exclusive tour only 7”.
The title track is classic Dirty Projectors. It is built on a wild percussion track, and features a simple guitar, horns and strings. David Longstreth’s vocals are as always unique and breathtaking. He possesses one of the most dynamic voices in the indie world, but he isn’t showing off with his dynamic range, here it suits the song perfectly. “While You’re Here” is a beautiful tribute to deceased TV On The Radio member Gerard Smith. It’s Longstreth’s voice accompanied only by strings. It definitely tugs at the heartstrings and is a touching tribute to a departed friend. “Simple Request” is built upon live drums and a strummed guitar, not your typical Dirty Projectors ornate arrangement to be sure, but it’s highly effective, it sounds more like a “band’ song and less of a studio creation, and is a nice closer to the ep.
The tour only single is a different beast entirely. The a side, “Buckle Up” is a prickly lo-fi guitar rave up that shows a side of the band that we don’t often see. This sounds like a band who would cover a whole Black Flag lp straight up and not reimage it to fit their own style, as Dirty Projectors famously (or infamously) did with their 2007 Rise Above lp. The b side, “Desire to Love” is a gently rocking tune that wouldn’t have felt out of place on the first Paul McCartney solo lp. All in all this is a pretty good ep, it is essential if you are a fan of the band, and but necessarily the best place to start if you are a beginner.
Key Tracks: “About to Die”, “While You’re Here”, “Buckle Up”
Artists With Similar Fire: Flaming Lips / Animal Collective / St. Vincent
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-Reviewed by Kevin Poindexter