When starting this post, I wasn’t sure whether or not it was fair to include Little Dragon in the Fresh Kept Secrets category, considering their recent success in certain scenes & demographics. But although they definitely have a large following already, I feel like a lot of heads still haven’t been properly exposed to them. So with that said – for those of you who are already up on game, I’ve still get some gems for you guys as well.
While I was already familiar with (and thoroughly impressed by) their lead singer, Yukimi Nagano, from her work with Ge-ology – it wasn’t until Waajeed played two of their songs on his Bling47 Radio podcast that I really got put on to the rest of Little Dragon. And since then, their self-titled debut album has quickly become one of my favorite new discoveries of the year – even if it did come out in 2007.
Although on a surface level, the Swedish-based group make pop music – they definitely do it in their own way. Written with a definite pop song sensibility, yet still played with the techniques of a modern jazz outfit, infused with stylish, electro-flourishes that fluctuate throughout. And if that wasn’t enough, they still manage to throw in enough bounce & swing to their tracks to appeal to the beatheads, without alienating their mainly indie pop/rock fanbase as well. Both emotionally and sonically, their album runs the gamut – containing everything from flirtatious, electric workouts that are equally as fit for a dance party as they are an upscale lounge (“Wink”) and playful synth-laden songs that’ll keep the 8-bit heads happy (“Turn Left”), to a jazzy anti-materialism swing with apocalyptic undertones (“After The Rain”) and movingly personal ballads (“Twice,” “Stormy Weather,” & “No Love”). These puzzle pieces, all similar in their differences to each other, then come together to form one concise movement that has something to fit nearly every mood.
To get better acquainted with what’s on the album, stay tuned after the jump for two examples of the LP’s highlights – and in typical Fresh Selects fashion, some bonus treats thrown in as well. For those of you who have already caught on to Lil Drag’s infectious sound (you were probably hip before me even) – I’ve included the short-but-sweet, non-album exclusive, “Infinite Love” below. Hopefully this track is a sign of the quality thats still to come from their forthcoming sophomore album.
For our more visual learners, I’ve provided two Little Dragon videos (“Constant Surprises” directed by Fredrik Egerstrand & a live in-studio live performance of “Twice” for The Black Room Sessions) below, along with 3 of my favorites from Yukimi Nagano’s recent guest appearances.
DOWNLOAD: Little Dragon “Infinite Love”
BONUS DOWNLOAD: Little Dragon “Twice (Live @ Black Room Sessions)”
SUPPORT: Little Dragon – Little Dragon OUT NOW
BONUS TRACKS: SEE BELOW
Ge-ology “Blues Alley” (feat. Yukimi Nagano)
(c) 2007 Mineral Werks Musik
Hird “I Love You My Hope” (feat. Yukimi Nagano)
from the album Moving On (2004, DNM)