We’ve been watching the steady growth of Swedish blissed-out electronic R’n’B connoisseurs Little Dragon for some time now, as have our current playlist providers Fresh Selects who picked up on their work way back in 2008. Seems as though the rest of the world is also now well and truly turned on to the smoky lo-fi futuristic soul of lead singer Yukimi Nagano and the band who formed as childhood friends, and have gone on to develop a dub heavy and synth inflected lounge pop for the new age.
Although unapologetically pop music, built around Håkan Wirenstrand's stunning keyboard textures there is a depth to Little Dragon’s music that allows it to transcend any notions of throwaway hooks and forgettable tunes. Instead they infuse their music with jazzy dynamics, electro flourishes and some hip-hop, house and modern R’n’B sensibilities that give it a real sophistication and appeal. And for all of their commercial edge, the group also manage to bring a distinction to their music that helps them to stand out from the crowd, managing to sound familiar yet not quite like anyone else.
This is a holy grail for real musical sustenance. While they haven’t dropped a total classic as yet, their three albums ‘Little Dragon’ from 2007, 2009’s ‘Machine Dreams’ and this summer’s ‘Ritual Union’ display signs that they are but a semi-quaver away. Greatness beckons. Hear the dragon roar.