Dirty Projectors’ David Longstreth Says Kanye West Helped Him Open Up On His New Album

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Dirty Projectors’ new self-titled album is a deep dive into the formation and dissolution of frontman David Longstreth’s relationship with former bandmate Amber Coffman. It documents their coupling and break-up in explicit and unflinching detail. According to a new interview with Rolling Stone, Longstreth became comfortable with releasing the incredibly vulnerable album thanks to his work with noted over-sharer Kanye West.

Though Longstreth says he was initially chafing at the idea of releasing an album so closely tied into the events of his own life, he relaxed a bit after working with Kanye West on “FourFiveSeconds.”

“It just felt like the natural thing to do. There was a bit of ‘the only way past is through,'” he said. “One thing I feel like I learned from spending a little bit of time in the room with Kanye is how important is to him to listen with people; you get that osmotic thing going on of being able to hear the music through somebody else’s ears and get a sense of how they’re responding to it. It’s something I saw Kanye do a whole lot…This is all personal for me and heartbreaking and sad stuff and some of it kind of feels private. But in listening to the album with people like [Vampire Weekend’s] Ezra [Koenig] and other musicians you come to realize everybody goes through this stuff.”

Ultimately, Longstreth said he was compelled to make the intensely personal album, that he had no other choice.

“There was a period of time, before I got around to accepting this was what I was going to do, where I tried to not make this album,” he said. “But it’s the record I had to make.”

Dirty Projectors is out February 23 on Domino.