David Longstreth and the rest of Dirty Projectors are in Europe at the moment, playing shows in support of this year's excellent "Swing Lo Magellan."
But judging by his Twitter feed Tuesday, the frontman's mind was back in the band's Brooklyn hometown: "Hey, here's a song I wrote on the day of Gerard Smith's wake in BK 2 summers ago," Longstreth wrote. "This song is for him. Miss u Gerry!"
Smith played bass in New York City's TV on the Radio until treatment for lung cancer forced him off the road just prior to the release of 2011's "Nine Types of Light." He died in April of that year.
The song Longstreth posted, "While You're Here," features his swooping vocals over a handsome string arrangement, but none of the tricky avant-funk rhythms for which the band is known. "My friend is rising and shining again," Longstreth sings. "There he is, saying, 'While you are here you are alive.' " (Listen to the tune below.)
"While You're Here" comes from a new four-track Dirty Projectors EP, "About to Die," due out Nov. 6.