Dirty Projectors' Amber Coffman on the Band's Search for Simplicity

See also: Dirty Projectors' Swing Lo Magellan: A First Listen

Try as a journalist might, the Dirty Projectors' Amber Coffman cannot be talked into overthrowing her bandleader, Dave Longstreth. This isn't the worst thing, seeing as Brooklyn's reigning art-rockers — the band Coffman sums up as “Dave's baby” — just released the best album of their lifetime, Swing Lo Magellan. (Dirty Projectors perform this Friday, July 27, at the Fox Theater.) But so many of the album's great moments belong to Coffman that it's tempting to cut her a side deal. After all, she was the lead singer on “Stillness Is the Move,” Dirty Projectors' breakout hit (if there's such a thing in alt-rock anymore). Abrasive, abrupt, tempo-switching Brooklyn bands don't just get covered by Beyoncé's sister for no reason.

Coffman giggles nervously. “Is it ['Stillness'] the best-known song? I don't know. That's a tough question.”

It's kind of a mean question too, so this interviewer apologizes. “[The song's success] was a little bit of a surprise,” Coffman says. “I grew up on that stuff and really wanted to make a song like that. Mariah Carey … her first album was my first CD ever, when I was 7.”

If Dirty Projectors have any genre lines left to cross, they're dwindling. One surprise influence would be interesting to hear bleeding through their unique mix, though: Nashville.

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