New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Today, Dirty Projectors
release Earth Crisis, the penultimate installment in the cycle of five EPs the band has been releasing throughout 2020.
The music of Earth Crisis has a backstory. In 2007, Dirty Projectors
released Rise Above, a reimagining of Black
Flag's seminal 1981 album Damaged. The album was out, but Dave Longstreth kept working through the musical material, spooling out arrangements of the songs for wind quintet and string quartet. In February 2008, Chris Taylor (Grizzly Bear) recorded these arrangements at the Greenpoint, Brooklyn church where they'd recorded parts of Yellow House and Veckatimest, with NYC avant music heavy Sam Hillmer (Zs, Diamond Terrifier) conducting. Shortly after the session, Projectors embarked on a three-month tour; when they came up for air, Dave got distracted writing Bitte Orca and never finished the orchestral Rise Above.
When he found the lost recordings on an old hard drive last year, Dave began reworking them - looping, pitch-shifting, deconstructing - and reseeding the resulting orchestral collages with new vocal melodies. "To me it felt like ecological processes: recycling, making new life from old," he says.
These collages form a harmonic ground for Dirty Projectors
vocalist and keyboardist Kristin Slipp to take center stage with her strong soprano lead. Earth Crisis' environmental undercurrent emerged out of the metaphor of the musical process - recycling, reuse of materials - and its title arrived serendipitously, a playful nod to the eponymous hardcore legends and to the Rise Above source material. From here, themes of environmental collapse and eco-dystopia poured organically into the lyrics Slipp and Longstreth wrote collaboratively.
The Earth Crisis EP arrives today with a stunning short film of the same name written and directed by friend and longtime collaborator Isaiah
Saxon of Encyclopedia Pictura (Björk, Grizzly Bear, Dirty Projectors' "Up In Hudson"). Encyclopedia Pictura is a Los Angeles-based film and animation studio whose passions include gardening, villages, friendship, science visualization, social ecology, adventure, and country living. The Earth Crisis short film features a special medley mix of the EP's songs, and tells the prescient and poignant tale of an elderly woman alone in the arctic wilderness.
With music owing as much inspiration to J Dilla
as Igor Stravinsky, the mode of Earth Crisis is through-composed art song. While penning the lyrics, Kristin Slipp and Dave Longstreth considered a 21st Century rewrite of Gustav Mahler's epic symphony, Das Lied von der Erde ("The Song of the Earth"). Find the full credits for the EP and short film below.
On November 20th, Dirty Projectors' diverse and dynamic sequence of EPs released in 2020 will culminate in a twenty-song anthology titled 5EPs, out digitally and physically via Domino. With each installment fronted by the voice of a different band member, 5EPs marks the group's growth, transition and communal power, which has prevailed even in this most isolating of years. Thus far, guitarist Maia Friedman led the existential folk of Windows Open, keyboardist and percussionist Felicia Douglass helmed the super-future soul of Flight Tower, Dave Longstreth delivered an intimate João Gilberto homage on Super João, and now Kristin Slipp brings her keening and surreal soprano to Earth Crisis.
While the fifth and final EP will feature all four singers together, details are yet to be announced. For more on 5EPs, read the band's recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, or check them out on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, NPR's Tiny Desk (Home) Concerts, NPR Weekend Edition, and Adult Swim's Fishcenter.
5EPs will be available as a standard black double LP, with a clear version exclusive to indie stores, as well as a CD, and a deluxe box set of five 12" colored vinyl. Pre-order 5EPs on LP and CD here, and pre-order the limited edition, foiled and numbered box set here.
Earth Crisis Track List
Eyes On The Road
There I Said It
Now I Know
Earth Crisis Credits
WRITTEN & DIRECTED by ISAIAH SAXON
LEAD ANIMATION by PAVEL MISHKIN
ENVIRONMENT MODELER - MURRAY NELSON
CHARACTER MODELER - ELIAS GLASCH
CHARACTER RIGGER - BEN REICHER
ANIMATOR - KYLE BAETA-ORICK
MODELER - JORDAN SPEER
BACKGROUND PAINTER - ISAIAH SAXON
PRODUCED by DOMINO RECORDINGS & ENCYCLOPEDIA PICTURA
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - PETER BERARD
WRITTEN by DAVE LONGSTRETH & KRISTIN SLIPP
VOCALS by KRISTIN SLIPP
PRODUCED, RECORDED & MIXED by DAVE LONGSTRETH at IVO SHANDOR LA, CA
ARRANGEMENTS - DAVE LONGSTRETH
STRINGS & WINDS ENGINEER - CHRIS TAYLOR
CONDUCTOR & MUSICAL DIRECTOR - SAM HILLMER
SAXOPHONE - PATRICK BREINER
FLUTE - ERIN LESSER
FLUTE - ELIZABETH JANZEN
CLARINET - EILEEN MACK
BASSOON - STEPHANIE CORWIN
VIOLIN - BROOKE QUIGGINS
VIOLIN - EMANOUIL MANOLOV
VIOLA - STEPHANIE GRIFFIN
VIOLONCELLO - JOANNE LIN
SCORE PREPARATOR - IAN ANTONIO