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Dirty Projectors’ David Longstreth Worked on a Song With Kanye West and Paul McCartney

Kevin Winter / Ilya S Savenok / Jason Kempin
Kevin Winter / Ilya S Savenok / Jason Kempin

David Longstreth, the main creative force behind Dirty Projectors, is moving on from his personal and professional breakup with Amber Coffman. His band has a new, self-titled record arriving next Friday (Feb. 24), and in a new profile about him, we’ve learned that he collaborated on a song for Kanye West with Paul McCartney and Vampire Weekend‘s Ezra Koenig.

The New York Times reveals that the track was recorded in 2015, during the same sessions with West that resulted in “FourFiveSeconds,” for which Longstreth wrote the bridge that Rihanna sung. Longstreth was explaining West’s creative process, listening to ideas from all kinds of people and fashioning it into something. To illustrate this, Longstreth remembered that West played a tape of himself making up nonsense sounds over some improviations by McCartney on a Wurlitzer keyboard. “[S]omething he sang sounded sort of like ‘Memories can get you into trouble,’ Longstreth said.

Trying to decipher the meaning of the phrase — “Like, maybe you’re with your girlfriend but thinking of your ex,” is how Longstreth interpreted it, he and Koenig took what West gave them and built a song around it and sent it for his approval. Unfortunately, he continued, “Kanye didn’t wind up using it, but it was good — maybe something will come of it down the line.”

Dirty Projectors is their first full-length record since 2012’s Swing Lo Magellan, although they released the About to Die EP later that year. Following the tour, Longstreth broke up with Coffman, who had been in the group since 2007’s Rise Above, and has since left Brooklyn for Los Angeles.

21 Short-Lived Musical Collaborations

Next: Our Review of Dirty Projectors' 'Swing Lo Magellan'

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