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LITTLE DRAGON

Little Dragon

New Me, Same Us

    Little Dragon—the pioneering Swedish four-piece fronted by enigmatic vocalist Yukimi Nagano, with multi-instrumentalists Håkan Wirenstarnd and Fredrik Wallin on keyboards and bass respectively and Erik Bodin on drums and percussion—return with their sixth studio album, “New Me, Same Us”.

    For a band who are proudly left-of-centre and fiercely protective of doing things on their own terms, they have achieved no shortage of mainstream recognition. Grammy nominated for 2014’s “Nabuma Rubberband”, Little Dragon have long been seen as one of the most sought-after groups to work with. Chalking up an enviable list of collaborators throughout the years, working with equally groundbreaking artists like BADBADNOTGOOD, Gorillaz, SBTRKT, Flying Lotus, Flume, Kaytranada, Big Boi (who was first put on to the band via fellow Outkast member André 3000), De La Soul, DJ Shadow, Tinashe, Mac Miller, Future, Raphael Saadiq, Faith Evans and more. Their hugely popular and highly regarded live performances have spawned a decade-spanning career which has seen them recently co-headline a show with Flying Lotus at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl and perform at some of the world’s most revered festivals such as Coachella, Glastonbury, Bestival, Lollapalooza, Melt, Dour, Sonar and Tyler, The Creator’s ‘Camp Flog Gnaw’.

    Having played together since their school days in Gothenburg—where they’d meet up after class to jam and listen to records by artists like A Tribe Called Quest and Alice Coltrane —“New Me, Same Us” is the sound of a band going back to basics and falling back in love with their instruments: drums, bass, keyboards, harp, guitar and voice, to produce some of their most focussed and inarguably best music to date. “This album has been the most collaborative for us yet.” they explain, “which might sound weird considering we’ve been making music together for all these years, but we worked hard at being honest, finding the courage to let go of our egos and be pieces of something bigger.”

    Entirely self-produced and recorded at their long-term home-built studio in Gothenburg, “New Me, Same Us” represents another chapter in the continuing evolution of Little Dragon, finding new direction in their unique style of unhurried, off-kilter r’n’b, pop and electronics, they sound as rejuvenated and energised as ever. The record also finds them in a reflective mood, Yukimi’s distinctive vocals musing on transitions, longing, and saying goodbye. “We are all on our own personal journeys,” they say, “full of change, yet still we stand united with stories we believe in, that make us who we are.” Lead single ‘Hold On’ is a message about breaking away and moving on, ‘Rush’ is about yearning for a love now lost, ‘Another Lover’ is described as a daydream of heartache, “I can’t understand what I'm doing / don't understand where we going” Yukimi laments in the opening lines. The aptly named ‘Sadness’ speaks to “how you might think you know someone but then time shows you a new face” say the band. ‘Where You Belong’ is a lullaby of fear of loss and death. There is room for optimism too, though. ‘New Fiction’ seeks that space in which to create new narratives and forge your own path and ‘Are You Feeling Sad’ is a reminder to take a step back and not worry too much: “you gonna be alright / don’t worry don’t worry / things gonna turn out fine”. 

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Indies exclusive orange vinyl.

    Little Dragon

    Klapp Klapp

      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2014 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

      Limited to 350 copies.

      Little Dragon

      Ritual Union

        Little Dragon return with their new album 'Ritual Union'. Since 2009’s critically acclaimed 'Machine Dreams' the band have not sat still, touring the globe and making some high profile friends along the way. Damon Albarn invited them to collaborate on two tracks for Gorillaz 'Plastic Beach' LP, which became album highlights for the critics with Pitchfork describing the songs ‘Empire Ants’ and ‘To Binge’ as “two of the most arresting things here; they’re airy, elusive and amazingly beautiful”.

        'Ritual Union' takes everything I love about Little Dragon and distils it to perfection; Yukimi Nagano’s wonderfully emotive and hooky vocals and quirky electro-acoustic backing tracks that are part live-played (drums) and part computer-created (all sorts of wonky synth sounds). Always distinctive and sounding like no one else, Little Dragon are an evolutionary branch of the 90s trip hop / downbeat sound, but one that didn't get mired in a coffee-table-chill-out-made-for-mobile-phone-adverts snooze-fest, instead opting for off the wall originality and seductive otherness.

        Little Dragon

        Machine Dreams

          Here at Piccadilly Records we were seduced by the charm of Little Dragon right from the word go. Their mix of electronic pop, soul and disco-not-disco, a cake iced with singer Yukimi Nagano's quirky vocals, hit the nail right on the sweet spot for us. However, since their self-titled 2007 debut long player this Swedish outfit have been a bit quiet to say the least. If the quartet have been busy in the studio working on new album "Machine Dreams", that's fine by me, because they've come up with a wonderful sophomore offering here. Perhaps inspired by the expansive electronic sound of Yellow Magic Orchestra and other post-punk experimentalists, the album moves between alt-dancefloor gems like "Looking Glass", "My Step" and deeper introspection ("A New", "My Feather" etc). A proper pop album that can actually claim to be unique, "Machine Dreams" is hard to pigeonhole, but very easy to love. Recommended.

          Little Dragon

          Little Dragon

            Gothenburg, Sweden is a hotbed of diverse and escalating musical talent. From the mighty Soundtrack Of Our Lives to idiosyncratic songsmiths Jose Gonzalez and Jens Lekman, through to the unpredictable pop styles from the likes of Love Is All and Audrey, Gothenburg now boasts the dynamic, organically soulful pop sounds of Little Dragon. Featuring radiant vocalist Yukimi Nagano (Koop) and her close high school friends Erik Bodin (drums), Fredrick Kallgren (bass) and Hakan Wirenstrand (keyboards), Little Dragon first stepped into the spotlight with the release of their cute "Test" 45 on Off The Wall in 2006.

            Limited vinyl reissue. The first pressing of the LP now fetches upwards of $500 on Discogs.


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