43. Dirty Projectors
Years active: 2002 - present
Influenced: Orchestral arrangements, harmonies
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Jam: "Stillness is the Move." Never did a paradox sound so majestic. R&B undertones map out potential futures and forgotten pasts.
David Longstreth is a modern day David Byrne to many, so it comes as no surprise that Byrne deigned to throw his undulating voice into a collaboration with the orchestral and harmony-based group. Buoyed by the twin siren-like voices of Amber Coffman and Angel Deradoorian, Longstreth feeds out line on the group's soaring kite of a discography, now adding new vocalists and tensions, now paring the group back down to his solitary voice with an acoustic guitar. For such a young group, winning over collaborations with likes of Byrne and Icelandic superstar Björk is an indicator of their prowess and staying power. Deroordian has since left the group to pursue her own career path, and Coffman often collaborates with other musicians—most recently her work with Major Lazer—Longstreth is clearly the heart and brain behind the operation. But his use of harmony and extensive strings and horns in mostly pop-based music has sparked new attention to brass and orchestra in the gleeful realms of pop that is refreshing.