Little Dragon is an electronic music group made up of four high school friends from Sweden. Their music is definitely modern, but you can hear influences of the past. The initial draw is definitely singer Yukimi Nagano’s unique voice, but the music is the perfect match to her vocals. In this interview, Nagano describes her band mates as “sound nerds” and you can tell that they care about the final product.
I heard about them awhile back and borrowed Machine Dreams from the library, but for some reason it didn’t grab me right away. When I heard their most recent album, Ritual Union, I was hooked. I loved a few songs instantly and then the rest of the album just kept growing on me. I worked my way back to Machine Dreams (which I now love) and also their self-titled debut album (which has some really great songs, but is not quite as solid as their follow-up albums).
Yukimi does guest vocals on a few albums that you can find at the library, including the Gorillaz Plastic Beach album, Raphael Saadiq’s Stone Rollin album, DJ Shadow’s The Less You Know, The Better album (great song and cool video), and the self-titled SBTRKT album. Her song “Wildfire” is definitely the highlight of the SBTRKT album. If you’re really a super fan, you can dig even deeper and check out some of her earlier jazzy works, like “Summer Sun” from Koop’s Waltz for Koop album. The Koop stuff is pretty different from her work with Little Dragon, though.
As evidenced by quite a few interviews on YouTube, they seem to be pretty down to earth and likeable people. There is a really great video (listed below) of them doing “Summertearz” with nothing but tuned bottles. They recently did some songs on the new Big Boi album (not out yet, but check out his great Sir Luscious Left Foot Son of Chico Dusty album and of course all of the Outkast). They have jokingly referred to themselves as a “no-guitar” band, but their sound is hardly lacking.
Little Dragon - Ritual Union
Little Dragon - Never
Little Dragon - My Step
Little Dragon - Twice
Little Dragon – Summertearz (with tuned bottles)
Little Dragon - Crystalfilm
Little Dragon - Runabout
SBTRKT – Wildfire
DJ Shadow – Scale It Back
Photo credit: Little Dragon
Tommy M is excited to have discovered a new band that he likes so much.