I’ve had countless amounts of friends recommend that I listen to Little Dragon over the last year or so. I remember specifically a work colleague of mine, Sarah, bigging them up beyond belief after seeing them a few times in Brighton last summer, but for some reason I never really sat down and gave them a proper listen. I drifted over tracks found on Hype Machine but never fully opened myself up to them.
Anyway, with the release of their album ‘Ritual Union’ this week I decided it was about time I boarded the Little Dragon hype train and actually gave them some thought. Yet again I’ve been faced with a classic scenario of my life of late and ended up kicking myself for waiting this long. Seriously! I need to sort myself out and start prioritising my music collection above everything else like I used to.
From start to finish ‘Ritual Union’ carries real confidence and attitude. This is an album to chill out to, an album to accompany you on your daily journeys and real summer soundtrack. I think its fair to say that an album has not gripped me simply by its effortless cool factor since the The XX’s debut. Like ‘XX’ you can find influences of R&B throughout, mixed in perfectly with their base ingredient of indie – electro pop, this a sound which is becoming more familiar in bands of late, yet Little Dragon still manage to claim it successfully as their own.
So, Highlights? ‘Ritual Union’ gets off to a great start with its title track and second single. Yukimi Nagano’s vocal compliments the bass and synth lines perfectly resulting in a melancholic yet cheerful pop song. Lyrically, this is the puller for me – “Love is not like they say / A lie, that it’s hard to make it stay / It drowns my feelings in the sea / I dried out over on the beach”
Five tracks in and we find ‘Please Turn’ definitely the more club heavy choice of the album. Everything here become more urgent, the synths become more driving, the rhythm more danceable and Nagano’s vocal delivers her into the ranks of respected indie frontwomen we love and look up to.
The downtempo ‘Crystalfilm‘ is repetitive but seductive and ‘Precious‘ is going to be the hands down winner for any dub fans out there, I predict the remixes coming in thick and fast.
First single, ‘Nightlight‘ is the one that successfully drags Little Dragon into the mainstream. If theres an indie club you’ve been to that hasn’t been spinning this to get the girls dancing, I’d be surprised.
Overall this album is an absolute gem. Will it bring Little Dragon the recognition they deserve three albums in? Who can tell, but I can assure you that after my lazy attempts to discover the band previously, they can certainly count me as a fan from now on.
Little Dragon – Ritual Union (Tensnake Remix) (YSI)