Break-up songs are vital to the DNA of music, but rarely do they ever get personal in any way. Even in primarily confessional songwriting, the trick is usually to make the events vague enough that anyone can insert themselves into the tale. Dirty Projectors frontman (and only man?) David Longstreth went the opposite route on the band’s first single in nearly four years. But first, some quick history.
David Longstreth founded Dirty Projectors as a solo vessel from 2002-2005 before adding vocalists Angel Deradoorian and Amber Coffman to the mix. The bump to full band led to the band’s initial success, the now-classic “Bitte Orca” in 2009 and 2012’s “Swing Lo Magellan.” During this time, Longstreth and Coffman dated, before breaking up shortly after “Magellan’s” release. With the breakup came the exit of Coffman and Deradoorian to pursue solo projects, while Longstreth did things like appear on Rihanna, Kanye West and Paul McCartney’s weird campfire sing-a-long.
Now, after a four-year hiatus, Dirty Projectors is back and back to being essentially a solo project. Longstreth has now released the first single, “Keep Your Name,” from their still-untitled upcoming album. The song is a glitchy, brutal breakup song that doesn’t necessarily star Coffman by name, but certainly has enough pointed barbs to constitute a diss track. The accompanying video syncs up nicely, showing Longstreth sad, destroying his guitar and drawing poop emojis. Oh, and he raps, too. It’s strange! The clincher, however, is a sample from the band’s own “Impregnable Question,” a duet between Longstreth and Coffman used now to paint how they really “don’t see eye to eye.” Check out the video below.