"We have a lot of dreams," says Little Dragon singer Yukimi Nagano. With a sound that's airy but heavy as fog, and otherworldly yet completely down to earth, it's a reasonable declaration.
Far from their homeland of Gothenburg, Sweden, the foursome's increased tour schedule (including its first Atlanta appearance, courtesy of Shameless Plug) has informed Little Dragon's move from R&B-inspired grooves toward more uptempo songs. "I think that definitely having been on tour a lot made us want to not make an album full of ballads. We don't want to play concert halls, we want to play clubs where people are dancing and stuff," Nagano says.
Their 2009 release, Machine Dreams, reflects that transition. Songs such as "Feather" and "Runabout" ping strongly into electro territory, as does "Empire Ants," Little Dragon's contribution to the Gorillaz's latest, Plastic Beach. On the flip, their self-titled '07 debut was decidedly soulful, with Nagano's Badu-ish vocals backed by head-nodding, electronica-tinged odes to influences such as Prince and other American artists. The new album, likely to be released early next year, will return to the soulful elements that are at once familiar and surreal.
For all the huff and puff that Nagano may emit in fits of creative frustration – hence the group's name – the sound is anything but confrontational, and the process is truly collaborative between her and fellow high school friends Håkan Wirenstrand, Fredrik Kallgren Wallin and Erik Bodin. Most of the songs start simply with Bodin's drums. "It almost hurts to add things to it because it's so sweet with just bass and voices," he says. "We usually start with one person and the other one will add on later."
The results are reggae, dub and hip-hop-influenced drum patterns layered beneath Nagano's jazzy, intricate and sensual voice, bound up by electronic flourishes you'd typically hear on intelligent dance music tracks.
It's true that Little Dragon is drawn to dreamy, lush soundscapes that rumble with rhythm. Lucky for us, their music is real.
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…
Yes, 14 is the correct answer. I'll pass your info along to the group's manager,…
That was January of 2007, and they are 21 now, so I'm guessing 14?