Dave Longstreth: llama shepherd

dirty_projectors_2008
I missed the first wave of hype for Dirty Projectors‘ new album, Bitte Orca; by the time I got around to listening to it, the internet was already flooded with rave reviews, so writing about how good it was seemed a little redundant. But I’m taking the opportunity to talk about it now because Projectors have released a video for lead single “Stillness Is the Move.” Like the rest of the album, the song mixes radio-friendly accessibility with bizarre genre-bending, combining a sexy funk groove with sped up guitar licks and Amber Coffman’s soaring R&B vocal runs. Orchestral swells take over in the final moment, bringing the tune to an elegant, baroque-tinged conclusion.

Given the song’s disorienting mish-mash of styles, it’s fitting that the video is equally baffling. Draped in a Mother Teresa-like white shawl, Coffman leads a dance routine in a clearing at the pinnacle of an island. Meanwhile, bandleader Dave Longstreth guides a llama through an evergreen forest. (What?) Despite its apparent inanity, it’s a captivating clip, with gorgeous scenery and some nifty camera work (lord knows how they pulled it off at the top of a small mountain). Coffman alone is worth the watch, as she delivers a charismatic performance with lots of extreme close-ups; the camera is so penetrating that it’s almost uncomfortable to watch (ala “Nothing Compares 2 U”), but her vulnerability is riveting.


Bitte Orca is out now via Domino.
 
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