When the melodies and sounds of the Swedish electro-pop band Little Dragon first engulf you, it’s hard to decide whether you should dance along to it or lay back and sink into the music.
The ethereal vocals of lead singer, Yukimi Nagano, paired with the hypnotizing bass beats of Fredrik Wallin create a sound that puts the body in a pleasurable shock –– pleasurable, because the mixture of sounds are seamlessly woven. The sounds soothe and shock the ear, with compositions like this are rarely heard elsewhere.
They are one part chill-out dreamy and one part club-friendly fierce.
Their fourth upcoming album, titled Nabuma Rubberband, is set to release on May 13. It is the first album from Little Dragon since their groundbreaking record Ritual Union in 2011.
Three singles off the new album have already been released. Tracks like “Klapp Klapp,” “Paris” and “Let Go” exhibit their signature synth-pop sounds and stylishly slinky beats.
Little by little, music fanatics are starting to discover the band’s truly original talent. Their unique and textured soul is being recognized near and far, by music lovers and performers alike, with performances at Coachella and South by Southwest this year.
With collaborations with artists like Gorillaz, SBTRKT and Big Boi under their belt, just to name a few, this small town band is stirring up a storm across the music scene with a propulsion that seems unstoppable.
This growing fame took a while to gain its current momentum. Lead vocalist Nagano, drummer Erik Bodin, bassist Wallin and keyboardist Hakan Wirenstrand began playing together in high school. Their hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden, provided them with inspiration for their music, which is a playful blend of R&B, New Wave, experimental and electro-pop.
Little Dragon’s genre of music is not one that can easily be clearly categorized, as every album since their self-titled debut record has provided audiences with something hauntingly authentic and diverse.
Their charm lies in their ability to appeal to any music lover.
“I think any music fan that has a real love for music and isn’t limited by certain genre constraints will like us,” Nagano said, in an interview with Pigeons and Planes. “When we make music, the inspiration comes from so many different places, so I think that’s why people from different worlds can recognize something they like in our music.”
Although fans have been given a glimpse of what to expect from the forthcoming album, each single release presents its own distinct facet of the Swedish dream team.
Frontwoman Nagano said in an interview with Rolling Stone that their inspiration was Janet Jackson slow jams that she used to listen to while roaming the streets in Gothenburg.
The unhurried tracks like “Let Go” are a reintroduction to their after-hour charm that hasn’t been heard since “Twice,” from their first album.
In anticipation of the album release, a limited edition vinyl, including the songs “Klapp Klapp” and “Let Go,” was sold at Amoeba Music in Hollywood for Record Store Day, where the band made an appearance to sign copies.
Little as the dragon might have been in the beginning, it has now evolved into a full and conquering beast.