Despite the fact that they’ve had a long-held reputation for crafting decidedly left of center pop and adhering to doing things in their own way, the Gothenburg, Sweden-based pop act Little Dragon — Yukimi Nagano (vocals), Hakan Wirenstarnd (keys), Fredrik Wallin (bass) and Erik Bodin (drums) — have managed to achieve an enviable level of mainstream success and recognition: 2014’s Nabuma Rubberband received a Grammy nomination and since then, they’ve developed a reputation for being a highly sought-after collaborative outfit, working with an impressive array of genre-defying, difficult to pigeon-hole artists and acts including BADBADNOTGOOD, Gorillaz, SBTRKT, Flying Lotus, Kaytranada, Big Boi, De La Soul, DJ Shadow, Tinashe, Mac Miller, Future, Raphael Saadiq, Faith Evans and many more.
Not bad for an act that can trace their origins back to when they would meet up after school to jam and play A Tribe Called Quest and Alice Coltrane records. Interestingly, the band’s recently released New Me, Same Us finds the band returning to the basics and falling back in love with their instruments, while crafting some of what may arguably be their most focused material to date. Thematically, the album touches upon transitions, longing and saying goodbye, and as a result, the album may also be one of the most reflective and thoughtful of their careers. “We are all on our own personal journeys, full of chance, yet still we stand united with stories we believe in, that make us who are we are,” the members of the Swedish pop act say in press notes.
The album which was entirely self-produced and recorded at the acclaimed Swedish pop act’s home-built Gothenburg-based studio “has been the most collaborative for us yet, which might sound weird considering we’ve been making music together for all these years, but we worked hard at being honest, finding the courage to let go of our egos and be pieces of something bigger,” the members of Little Dragon explain in press notes. Earlier this year, i wrote about the sultry, Fragile-era Cherrelle meets house music-like album single “Hold On.”
As part of the build up for New Me, Same Us‘ release, Little Dragon — or should I say Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano appeared on COLORS’ A Colors Show to perform the slow-burning, Quiet Storm-like “Another Lover.” Centered around shimmering and atmospheric synths, a sinuous bass line, an infectious hook and Nagano’s soulful and sultry vocals, the song expresses an aching longing — longing for understanding within a relationship, as well as longing for that particular person. For this particular season, we see Nagano in a gorgeous, blue and black checked jumpsuit in front of a monochromatic blue background, singing into a single microphone.
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