If you’ve been following Dirty Projectors’ recent social media updates, you knew from the cryptic changes to their accounts (neutralizing their profile and cover pictures, sharing brief clips of black and white footage) that they were readying something. After they shared this Tweet two days ago, you may have wondered if, perhaps disappointingly, they’d be releasing a remix album — as the clip featured distorted vocals from 2012 album Swing Lo Magellan‘s “Impregnable Question” (atop imagery of David Longstreth violently wagging his face back and forth in slow motion.)
It turns out that brief clip was a moment of an entirely new track, “Keep Your Name,” for which the band have also shared a new video, co-directed by Longstreth and, as Pitchfork reports, Kanye’s creative director, Elon Rutberg. The track is at once a raw breakup song (“I don’t know why you abandoned me/You were my soul and my partner/What we imagined and what we became/We’ll keep ’em separate and you keep your name), yet also one of the most electronic, and instrumentally dynamic tracks we’ve heard from the Projectors in a while (Swing Lo was more pared down than the bands’ previous LP.) It’s also something of a durational test, as it features Longstreth’s voice pitch-shifted into alienating deepness — but swept up as it is in the song’s surprising pairing of soothing, melancholy melody and frenetic glitches, it all works damn well. In the video, Longstreth performs a series of post-breakup gestures (drawing aimlessly, smashing a guitar, playing a piano) within a world of very attractive B&W cinematography.