This post is a really big deal because we never ask questions like this. (We always ask questions like this.) But for real this time … did Bitte Orca do it? Is this the one? It’s almost December right? At SXSW, where Dirty Projectors debuted the Bitte material in a set that’s a frontrunner for my favorite show of the year, Dave Longstreth punctuated the 45 minute premiere of his triumphant, fractured pop opuses and Meredith Monking mind explosions with a matter-of-fact declaration: “Those are all new songs, from a new album we have called Bitte Orca. We’re pretty excited about it.” We have been too, and so has the rest of the internet, asking questions and giving it scores that aren’t high enough, etc. I don’t think we’d rewrite a thought from our Premature Ejaculation, but we’d add that having had some time with the album, it’s one of few this year that rewards — and gets better — with sustained listening and revisitation. It don’t stop. And as the suite Longstreth composed in its wake for Björk (in just one week) demonstrated, neither will DPs.

Anyway, we’re taking off for Bonnaroo. We’ll see DPs play the David Byrne-curated stage on Friday, yay. As always we’ll have more photos than you need and Scott and I will be manning the Tweet, but until that coverage begins this weekend we’re gonna leave you with the best gift we can: A full stream of what is possibly maybe the best album of 2009.

Bitte Orca is out now. Buy a Walkman and dig in.

[Photo by Sarah Cass]

Comments (370)
  1. ANCO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is all.

    • anco sux. they are so unoriginal.

      miley cyrus > animal collective > DC talk > grizzly bear

      • josh  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

        holy shit, you referenced DC talk in a *cough* well crafted burn, well done! bravo!

        Bitte Orca is the best record of 2009 with the only rival being Vecktamist

        I don’t get AC — I’ve tried a bunch of times, don’t get it —

    • Lyle  |   Posted on Jun 12th, 2009 0

      DP < Dirty Projectors
      GB < Grizzly Bear
      ANCO < Animal Collective
      Enough w/ the abbrev, plz.

    • Nickolas.  |   Posted on Jun 12th, 2009 0

      BItte Orca kills MPP…and that saying something for a Ted Leo album. Wait, what? That’s not Ted Leo. Well I’ll be damned. Best Non-Ted Leo-Ted Leo album of the year, hands down.

  2. This album is far better than the Merriweather….

    So I would say, so far, yes.

    • why does no one like you? everything you post instantly has red highlighted vote downs.

    • Actually most albums this year are better than MPP. Animal Collective have just been over hyped across most music blogs. It’s a shame most people can’t see this as all their previous albums are infinitely better such as Feels and Strawberry Jam.

    • I guess I can agree with that statement, but I’d go so far as to say that ANYTHING is INFINITELY better that MPP for purely logical reasons…

      Let BO = Bitte Orcha, MPP = Merriweather,

      BO > MPP yet… BO < X

      Therefore, it is logically sound to assume that

      X = a donkey’s dick

      The best album of the year is Veckatimest, barring any unforseable releases by The National and/or Radiohead.

      • Gil  |   Posted on Jun 13th, 2009 0

        False. I’ve got both albums, and although I’ve spent more time with MPP, I think it is faaaaaar better than Veckatimest.

        Veckatimest is still a great album, however.

      • gallatino  |   Posted on Jun 29th, 2009 0

        indie gods save me, but I sort of agree with this mofo. I can jam with MPP fine but i didn’t like it nearly as much as Vecka. also the National and Radiohead are both faves of mine.

        check out Ben Sine’s 6/28/09 post; that kind of shit is constructive. not everyone likes DP, so if you’re going to debate if this is the best album, you need to talk in less subjective terms.

        GB > Green Day lollllz

    • KoL  |   Posted on Jun 14th, 2009 0

      I’ll give a +1 to anyone with a Kingdom of Loathing pic.

  3. Also, I think this is a highly important issue that needs to be discussed level-headedly and with as much respect for contrasting opinions as possible.

  4. Dan  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    No fucking way.

  5. Ok enough already, stop looking for the best album of 2009. I’m really not trying to be negative, but there is plenty of time to decide what the best album is at THE END OF THE YEAR when you can make a fair assessment. Its this constant early judging and evaluation and “who said it first” mentality that is making independent music unnecessarily competitive, stripping away the value of the music for only how it compares to everything else. Music shouldn’t be a competition about who’s the best, please stop making it into it.

  6. steelydwill  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    Face Control deserves a lot more love.

    • If by Face Control you mean Dragonslayer (the new album by the superior member of Wolf Parade) you are correct (although neither can rival MPP, Veckatimest or Bitte Orca at this point). Face Control sounds exactly like every other song/album that Dan has ever put out.

  7. it’s honestly fucking possible. depends how ambivalence avenue turns out.

  8. Bumsly  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    I’d like to see Dirty Projectors remix Animal Collective and vice versa.

  9. Bumsly  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    I’d like to see Dirty Projectors remix Animal Collective and vice versa. Also, throw us some of those tracks with Bjork for proper download please!

  10. so far, it’s between this and passion pit’s manners.

  11. herdsuth  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    Honestly, this is a terrible record and I don’t think the editors of this site are in any position to comment on this, or music in general.

  12. christopher  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0


  13. I like Dragonslayer…

    Have a gut feeling p4k will bash it, though. I hope I’m wrong. Not because I personally care about p4k, but because people won’t go nuts over an album unless p4k tells them to.

    • ia  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

      Agreed… I’m seeing a… 7.5 somewhere in the future. Somewhere between a 7 and an 8, depending on how bitchy P4K feels.

      But us fans know that in reality, it’s the best album this year.

    • WHEW. I thought I was losing my frickin mind over here, as just last week or so was the Premature ‘Ejaculation’ (heh. nice one.) of Dragonslayer. I say y’all can HAVE Dirty Projectors as long as I can still cuddle up and sleep with Dragonslayer in peace b/c that album is BYOOOTIFUL. Best of 2009? Didn’t MPP come out like ten years ago already? (kidding.)

  14. Blah < Blah Blah < Blah Blah Blah

  15. Jeff   |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    This is how I have it so far:

    1. Animal Collective – Merriweather
    2. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
    3. Dirty Projectors – Bitte
    4. Bat for Lashes – Two Suns
    5. Dark Was the Night

    Regardless of what order, though, these are 5 great records and 2009 is shaping up to be a great year (waaay better than last year). Also, Bill Callahan and Phoenix. Jesus.

  16. Hatzman  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    Lulz, no. I couldn’t even finish this record. It was a snooze fest.

  17. *rolls eyes*

    Here we go again…. and yet again, I have not heard it. And even if I started streaming it right now, it takes time to determine that sort of stuff.

    You know what else takes time? Other contenders to arrive. Whatever. It’s in my to-download list.

    Roll in all the GB comparison/bashing, more adequate than AC comparisons if you ask me.

    • WallabyJoe  |   Posted on Jun 15th, 2009 0

      Don’t feel bad. I listened to the first few seconds of the first track and said “Nope, this is not for me” and stopped it. Am I missing out on a monumental listening experience that will connect me on a transcendental level with my peers? The answer is no, no I am not.

      (Also, for the record, I only found about 3 or 4 songs on the Animal Collective album I liked, too, so PHHHHHBBBBBTTTTT.)

  18. Even as a die hard AnCo fan i must say that i think this record is better. is it the 2000s Ok Computer?

    • DAMN GINA!!!!!!  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

      God, I hope not. What the hell! What an offensive thing to suggest? How many of youa re there? Too many! AAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHA!!!!!!!

  19. David  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    Um, yes. So far. But I will say this … I doubt very much that there will be an album better than this this year.

  20. Daniel  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    Premature Ejaculation?

  21. iknowall  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    OMG! This album is like so much better than Merriweather!

    Wait, my bad, i just realized that my opinion should really only matter to myself and no one else. I shouldn’t post comments on music blogs trying to prove that my taste is more relevant that pitchfork.

  22. A very boring album, this isn’t experimental music at all as this guy thinks his music his. The music is very thin sounding, hooks non existent, prominent vocal masturbation in every song. Horrible, check out the Dusted Magazine review, this guy is a retard.

  23. third eye blind – ursa major


  24. Also the singer has a absolutely horrible voice, totally ruins the music. Such a painfully ordinary voice, no wonder David Byrne, another vocalist with a pedestrian and emotionless voice, likes him.

  25. Way to talk up an album by a band who your writer Brandon Stosuy is BFFs with.

  26. zik  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    It’s fun to pit artists against each other in a battle for supremacy but really, this year it started back in fucking JANUARY so everyone’s already exhausted and can barely lift their maces or shields anymore. Let’s take a break until December, please.

  27. It’s a solid record, no doubt about it, but I can’t call it the best. My top picks, at the moment:

    1. Merriweather Post Pavillion, Animal Collective
    2. Veckatimest, Grizzly Bear
    3. Farm, Dinosaur Jr.
    4. Noble Beast, Andrew Bird
    5. Person to Person, Foreign Born

    Bitte Orca falls somewhere in the next five. It’s a really good album, but I don’t think it can touch AC or Grizzly Bear.

  28. Joe  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    don’t forget Circulatory System – Signal Morning!

    its the sleeper hit. bank on it

    • No. The album is boring and uninspiring. A light and not so horrible version of Black Dices “Repo”, meaning = a complete mess with no worthwhile melodies and with a lot of failed experiments.

  29. buttah  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0


  30. Jeff  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    I don’t understand why this bothers people. I want to constantly talk about what albums are my favourites. I want to rate them against each other. I want to casually mention, on the side, what other records deserve praise. And I don’t want to wait until December to do it.

    • Cracker  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

      Thank you, Professor Jeff! Your comment is The Best (and I mean that)… I think we’d all agree that it IS fun, as big-time music nerds, to discuss and argue and create some sort of discourse on contemporary music. What the rest of the crew on here doesn’t appreciate (without realizing it) is the idea of an authoritative figure. Websites like these don’t claim to be THE authority, but since they’re good as hell at what they do and since they get so many hits and page views, they are lifted up by our indie culture (so about 10% of the population) as BEING the taste-makers. It’s one of those “Don’t hate the player, hate the cliche” instances, but everyone gets mad at the players. Pathetic.

      Oh, and making fun of the idea of comment boards by posting a comment is ridiculous. Welcome to College.

    • moi  |   Posted on Jun 12th, 2009 0

      That’s fine, but how about some REASONING as to why these albums appeal to you? What makes them potentially the best records of the year? Are they a significant artistic departure or advancement in some way? The whole <> approach is getting lazy and boring.

  31. rick  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    1. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavillion
    2. Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
    3. Grizzly Bear – Vecktamist
    4. Micachu and the Shapes – Jewellery
    5. TBA

  32. ThugKnight  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    Sin Fang Bous – Clangour?

  33. ass monger  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    dirty projectors just try way too hard to be interesting and relevant, usually at the cost of actually sounding good, or even listenable. I am not saying I hate his voice or the lyrical content or that the music is like truly awful, but this is clearly a love it or hate it sort of record/band, and in my mind that is not really grounds for a best record of the year.

    animal collective and grizzly bear and phoenix and lots of other bands have put out great records that will be great records for a long time. I am comfortable with those other bands as far as being on he right side of music history… because all of those records have something I actually want to listen to, not something I have to train myself to enjoy.

    dirty projectors just seem too divisive and pretentious. not bad. I would never bash their talent or skill level. but the ending result is not very welcoming. and that is not really a good way of describing a so called contender for best album of the year. maybe a good album of the year, but not best.

    • Goon  |   Posted on Jun 12th, 2009 0

      I can’t stand this band, and a good deal of it stems from them being the worst live act I’ve ever seen. They miss half their notes, their lead singer noodles around with his guitar like he’s some virtuoso when he can barely play the damn thing. It’s embarrassing and annoying.

  34. For now I like MPP more, but we’ll see how Bitte Orca ages over the next few months. At the moment:

    1. Animal Collective
    2. Amadou et Mariam
    3. Grizzly Bear
    4. Dan Deacon (am I the only one?)
    5. Dirty Projectors

    • you shouldn’t be. dan deacon’s album is amazing and will still be at the end of the year.

      more people should also mention andrew bird’s noble beast.

  35. (forgot I had this account)

    I’ll also add I’m waiting on Wilco (though not expecting it to be great, to be honest) and Midlake.

  36. this album’s okay. but i wouldn’t say it’s on the level of grizzly bear or animal collective, considering their releases this year. and STOP WITH THIS ALBUM OF THE YEAR SHIT. there’s a time and place for it. at the end of the year.

  37. jesse Miller  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    yes, yes it is the best album of the year

  38. Evan  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    The answer you’re looking for is no. No, Bitte Orca is nowhere near the best album of 2009, or any year. ever.

  39. Justin  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    IMO, yes. To all the people stating that the album is boring, uninspiring and lacking general good music really could not have listened to the album. Just listen to the “Useful Chamber” and tell me this is a boring album…I have never heard anything like it.

  40. F. Leghorn  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    To answer the actual question posed in the headline:
    Christ, I hope not.

  41. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear has produced some Dirty Projectors’ work in the past. Did he produce Bitte Orca as well? If so, that is very impressive especially considering the fact Veckatimest just came out and he produces all of Grizzly Bear’s work…

  42. Cale  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    this album is really cool,but….. No chance its the best so far.. Too much filler.. Rise Above was much better.. That album didn’t have one bad song on it… What happened to all the melody?? Two Doves is out of control though!!!

    Top five so far…

    1) Animal Collective- Merriweather Post Pavillion
    2) Phoenix- Wolfgang amadeuas Phoenix
    3) The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart-The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart
    4) The Dream- Love Vs. Money
    5) Lotus Plaza- The Floodlight Collective

  43. dragonslayer!!!


  44. I haven’t heard the record, so I can’t say anything, but I just wanna say that I really don’t like it how every year, people’s top-whatever lists on this site all look exactly the same, just rearranged.
    Last year it was Fleet Foxes, Portishead, Deerhunter, Bon Iver, No Age, etc.
    This year it’s Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, Bat for Lashes, Dirty Projectors, etc. (see several posts above for proof)

    And if you dare put something that P4k don’t like in there, you get the hail of red arrows come down on you. Well guess what, my top 5′s probably gonna have Peter Bjorn & John in it, but not Veckatimest. NA-NA NA NA-NA.

    • I agree with just about everything you said, except for the PBJ part. But hey, what’s so bad about differing opinions?

  45. dickface  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    It’s really funny how angry people get when others say something is the ‘best’ or is their ‘favorite.’ Committing is not a bad thing, we need more of that in music during these internet days. i still don’t understand why people pounce on individuals for liking something just because their tastes differ.

    cum on, grow to the top, people.

  46. Un Dia or 69 Demos  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    I called “Merriweather” the most Revolver since Revolver and I stand by that…(I now know which people wouldn’t have cared much for “Love You To” and “Tommorow Never Knows” if this was1966)…maybe it’s 1966 again and the bands that are taking the chances are the ones that are being rewarded…maybe a bunch of people aren’t nearly as they think…

    • Steve  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

      Oh… get the fuck over yourself.

      Five of the year (no order):

      Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
      Fever Ray – s/t
      The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – s/t

      Waiting for two more (I really like The Thermals – Now We Can See, but no way it’s an AOTY).

    • if i played sitar would i be cool, too?

  47. All I know is that it’s my personal favorite. Am I going to get downvoted for that?

  48. David Mania  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    I’m going to say it’s a tie. Yes, it’s DP and AC for me. I think MPP and BT are both magnificent and so replayable. Each time is better than the last. Other greats (for me) are Dan Deacon, Passion Pit, PB & J, YYY, Red Light Company, Thee Oh Sees, Mint Chicks, Swan Lake, and Pains of Being Pure at Heart. And some I forgot, I’m sure.

    Oh wait, I forgot Grizzly Bear. Actually, I didn’t. That album is the opposite of a sandwich. The middle has no meat. What a bore. Just to insert an obligatory GB comment.

  49. sigh  |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    this isn’t even the dirty projector’s best album.

  50. Connor   |   Posted on Jun 11th, 2009 0

    i think The Mimicking Birds have potential, i saw them tour with modest mouse, i got a cd of theirs with a couple of songs and it fuckin rules, its going to be their first album and im really hoping their it will be awesome, they definitly have potential

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