In a recent New York Times interview, Justin Vernon talked about how being buddies with Kanye West has taught him that humbleness is highly overrated. He has since reached an epiphany: “Ultimately, I think it’s great to serve others and everything, but I think there’s a certain point where it’s diminishing returns for the people around you if you’re not showing up and being who you are.” You know which other indie artist in Kanye’s camp is grappling with that same idea? Dave Longstreth of the Dirty Projectors, who are apparently back after a four-year break. The band has released “Keep Your Name,” their first new song since 2012’s Swing Lo Magellan. In the interim, Longstreth co-wrote and co-produced Rihanna’s “FourFiveSeconds” with Kanye; now he’s about four, five seconds from wylin’.
Longstreth stars in the song’s black-and-white video, which features a shrine to Missy Elliott, Joni Mitchell, and Beethoven, lots of pensive staring into the camera, guitar smashing, tortured doodling, and ruminations on creative integrity (“What I want from art is truth / What you want is fame”). He even raps! Something Longstreth can definitely keep … to himself.