New Dirty Projectors – “Stillness Is The Move”

You should be bracing for everyone to lose their shit to Dirty Projectors’ Bitte Orca LP, so maybe hearing the studio treatment of the SXSW show-stopper “Stillness Is The Move” will help with that. While the track sees the outfit push into new terrain (think Mariah over art-damaged, African-guitar infused R&B), the single’s cover art ironically sees the band circling itself: the image of “Stillness”‘s lead vocalist Amber Coffman teases the Bitte Orca album art, which itself reprises Dirty Projectors ’04 release Slaves Graves & Ballads. (Whoa.) That cover and Longstreth’s Progress Report suggested the album would provide Amber and Angel some moments in the spotlight. “Stillness Is The Move” definitely is Amber’s star turn.

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Don’t expect anything else on Bitte Orca to be so Hot 97-ready, but it’s no coincidence the album’s lead single is this adventurous. Get psyched. Listening to the radical vocals Dave Longstreth’s arranged historically, and now on new songs from “Stillness” to “Remade Horizon” (below), you begin to understand why Björk is a fan and is allowing him to arrange a vocal piece for her to perform in a SoHo bookstore. That’s not to say every word of that sentence isn’t crazy, just that hearing the shades of brilliance that Dirty Projectors are revealing makes it all a little more fathomable.

The “Stillness Is The Move” 12″ is out 4/21, and Bitte is out 6/9, both via Domino. Dirty Projectors make the list of Top Live shows every year, but Austin was different; I’ve never seen a crowd go so wild for a full set of music they’d never heard a note of before. Here are some clips from the show that did us in down there (during a day party no less, a difficult situation in which to impress, let alone do whatever it is this is).

Here’s “Remade Horizon.” At around 4:00, when the vocals are deconstructed and then brought back in the round, stitched together and at full force, the only mouths not screaming were the ones that were slack-jawed:

And here’s Amber working it out on the set-closing “Stillness Is The Move.” The video doesn’t do justice to the crowd’s cheers, but Dave plugging his ears at the end does.

Unfortunately it cuts out before my favorite part, which was Dave being like “Hey that was all new stuff, from a new album we have coming out called Bitte Orca, we’re pretty excited about it,” as if he wasn’t watching everyone lost their minds the entire set. Yay. (See also.)