The Spinners

Ascending Melody 7″ (Dirty Projectors, 2010)

In EPs, Indie American, Indie Rock, Richard Bolisay on January 19, 2010 at 1:45 pm

The new Dirty Projectors EP, released as free download on their website, contains two tracks: “Ascending Melody” and “Emblem of the World”. Both songs are included in Temecula Sunrise, which was released a few months after Bitte Orca. While 2009 seems to be the most productive for the band, their subsequent efforts seem to prove that there is more yet to come.

As with any Dirty Projectors record, the instruments are king. The instruments, including the voice which sounds less as a voice but an instrument, create a synergy of warm rhythms and dazzling beats that somersault in their uniqueness. Somehow on this side of music, “unique” can still be appropriately used without sounding pompous. “Ascending Melody” feels longer than what it really runs—four minutes and forty-one to be exact—and that’s because the band has this sense of time that is rather peculiar, of prolonging it yet not being conscious about repetitions. The girls opening the track, along with the dizzying guitars and drumbeats, sounds cool, but when Dave Longstreth comes in, like a beatboxing guest, it all becomes funkier. The bluesy, giddy, and bewildering ascension of riffs, which somewhere in the middle invades the territory of a TV jingle, feels good with the pause, until it goes back to being crazy again in the end.

The lyrics don’t seem at all repeating; but when “Emblem of the World” kicks in—the words (why should we choose another useless metaphor / without a regard or a passionate need) and the modest arrangement notwithstanding—the band lays back to carry a sunny ballad. The EP contains two rather opposing tracks one after another, but it just shows no matter how polarizing Dirty Projectors can be, they will still continue to be ascending and ascending, all the way to the top.

– Richard Bolisay

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