David Longstreth started his experimental productions in the early 2000s, in the neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. A fan of the lo-fi style, the artist released his first album in 2002, entitled The Graceful Fallen Mango. However, the first album under the name The Dirty Projectors came out in 2003. The Glad Fact was released on the Western Vinyl label.
With the collaboration of several musicians, Dirty Projectors released several works in the following years. In 2007, the band released the album Rise Above, in which they reinterpreted several songs from Black Flag's classic Damaged album.
Dirty Projectors was one of the highlights on the indie scene in 2009, with the release of the album Bitte Orca. Three years later, in July 2012, the group released Swing Lo Magellan, the sixth studio album. The next record, Dirty Projectors, came out in 2017. Lamp Lit Prose, the band's eighth album, was released in 2018. During 2020, The band released 5 EPs, which in November of that year were released under the name 5EPs.