Brooklyn indie-rock mainstays Dirty Projectors have released a live in-studio album, Sing The Melody, on Domino Recordings, comprised of new and old songs featured in recent tour dates. The release showcases the group’s spontaneous but cohesive approach to their performance—clockwork-like moving parts revolving around their soulful cast of vocalists.
In fall of last year, Dirty Projectors went to Power Station studios in New York City to record the tracks across Sing The Melody as the latest installment in Domino’s Documents series. Most of the reworked songs come from their 2018 release, Lamp Lit Prose, a record that showed the group leaning into their brightest, poppiest melodies.
On the opening track from the sessions, “Right Now,” the group takes the jagged framework set in the studio version and softens it with warm guitar strums. The song’s synthetic elements are still very much present—resonant drum machine kicks and shimmering synths—but the organic instrumentation allows the group’s live-presence to shine.
Throughout the live vignettes, frontman David Longstreth’s vocals remain the delicate centerpiece planted between the irregular flashes of guitar and synth. On “What Is The Time,” his falsetto effortlessly traverses the groovy foundation laid down. The group vocal contributions from Maia Friedman, Felicia Douglass and Kristin Slipp build up the song’s heartfelt warmth—an emotional highlight.
A portion of the studio performance is shown in the video for “FourFiveSeconds” and “Knotty Pine.” The first is a cover of the strangely legendary co-write between Paul McCartney, Kanye West and Rihanna, and the latter a rarity written by Longstreth and David Byrne. The distorted video of the songs shows the group in a relaxed circle filling the space with wonderful synchronicity.
Knowing the strong group dynamic captured in the release, Sing The Melody is an essential snapshot of Dirty Projector’s enduring artistic vision almost two decades into their colorful careers.
Sing The Melody is out today on Domino Recordings. You can watch the video for “FourFiveSeconds” / “Knotty Pine” and a cut from Dirty Projectors’ 2007 Paste Daytrotter session below and find album details further down.
Sing The Melody Album Art:
Sing The Melody Tracklist:
1. Right Now
2. What Is The Time
3. That’s A Lifestyle
4. I Feel Energy
5. Cool Your Heart
7. Knotty Pine