It’s hard to think of a band that’s more connected to my current profession than Dirty Projectors. One of the first things I ever wrote when I considered myself a “music writer” was a review of a Dirty Projectors album, Swing Lo Magellan, which remains in my top ten favorite albums of all time. The Brooklyn indie collective seemed to epitomize exactly what drew me to music; self-serious and experimental songs that were hellbent on changing the world. I wrote the hell out of a lengthy essay for my own little blog, edited by no one. Imagine how thrilled I was when the band shared that independent, passionate little post on their Twitter. That wasn’t quite five years ago, but it might as well have been fifty. Things couldn’t be more different for the band, or for me, on the official release day for the group’s latest self-titled album.
Swing Lo Magellan was my introduction to the band, which means I didn’t go through the sadness many fans felt after Bitte Orca, when Angel Deradoorian left the group. But after discovering Swing Lo Magellan, they were my favorite band — as the fawning review linked above easily reveals — and I was eager to listen to their back catalogue and make it my own. My discovery of the band was perfectly in step with my discovery of a new home in Brooklyn, my foray into the world of music writing (as an Editorial Assistant at AOL Music, where the band came through for a session and I got to meet them), and my own first adult, romantic relationship.