Review Summary: Bitte Orca is an unorthodox listen; racking your brain and melting your heart all in the same instant, and that is something to appreciate
Attempting to describe Dirty Projectors in one swift adjective or genre can be rather difficult. Their sound is sophisticated, as displayed on latest album, Rise Above
, which rubbed off gritty and frantic at times in their homage to Black Flag’s Damage
. With Bitte Orca
, we find Dirty Projectors as a reborn band, invigorated with pop sensibilities without removing the experimental indie-rock prowess that they are known for.
To some, their songs may appear as a clusterfu
ck or rather an amateur attempt at writing a song, but the intention of changing time signatures and off-rhythm beats are all-so-delicately strung together. With thumping bass lines never extending more than a few notes, slews of harmonies and intricate guitar are the reason why we so attentively listen. Whether the female or male members are cheerfully signing along, each member brings a unique voice. The conductor, per say, Dave Longstreth, always has an answer to each hook, even if it falls short of the glorious work with David Byrne on Dark Was The Night
. “The Bride” is molded and worked with a killer guitar riff that accentuates the folklore atmosphere. And when Dirty Projectors aren’t completely working out of the box, they write a stunning track, “Two Doves,” an acoustical guitar and string section based song that is tearful-good with Angel Deradoorian’s voice mesmerizing listeners. Essentially it is a song that is gracious and ever so joyous, working with so little, but a voice is all that is needed.
Meanwhile, “Useful Chamber” resonates with this Casio electronic-folk beat, until the eventual, unexpected chorus shouting ‘bitte orca, orca bitte’ for the few moments of spastic rock, until hymns lead the wandering track to another powerful chorus. Beyond that, the layering is phenomenal, whether multiple guitars or harmonies, like in “Temecula” and “Remade Horizon” respectively. It becomes the time where you may not know what the fu
ck is going on musically, but the vocals sidetrack your attention or vice-versa. With that, it is certainly something to love about their songs and Bitte Orca
, as any given listen fascinating, from the initial reverb guitar riff in “Cannibal Resource” or the fitting ambience ending “Florescent Half Dome.”
is an unorthodox listen; racking your brain and melting your heart all in the same instant, and that is something to appreciate. And while it may be experimental, it never reaches a point of ridiculousness, but is rather contained and well-adjusted. Past some questionable transitions and ‘album’ feel, Bitte Orca
is one of the finest alternative/indie albums released this calendar year, do not miss your chance to enjoy such a curious journey.