Review: The Passionate, Soulful Evolution Within Little Dragon’s ‘New Me, Same Us’

Little Dragon | New Me, Same Us | Ninja Tune

Release Date: 27 March, 2020

Throughout their career Swedish synth-pop quartet Little Dragon have been known for their unique brand of spliced genres; from dreamlike indie, to trip-hop, R&B and soulful pop, over their career spanning an incredible decade – the band has been more than willing to experiment with a myriad of sounds, delicately constructing a personality that is immediately recognisable.

When we hear the music of Little Dragon, we know, without question it’s Little Dragon – yet the refreshing approach the band takes has allowed for a noticeable evolution – a feat that many artists find it difficult to truly encompass. Either ‘we’ change our sound drastically, or release what the public expects of us; and this type of attitude can end up being lost in the mix, or find itself with a sadly repetitive tone.

Little Dragon have managed to genuinely embrace the concept of evolving, individually and together, polishing their sound with each release and collaboration: the title of their latest LP ‘New Me, Same Us’ is the perfect summation of their musical journey; growing, maturing, polishing, learning as well as collaborating with leading names in the electronic industry – while still grasping the essence of what it means to create music as Little Dragon.

Hold On‘ opens with the sweeping waves of soft-hearted ambience; delicate synths lapping the shore of a track glowing with an eager energy – a tender, pulsing beat bursting with soulful charm shimmers in its silken tone as the introduction segues into the colourful joy of a bittersweet dance. The loving influences of R&B-esque, emotional ballads and upbeat, playful trip-hop glitters within the fluidity of Yukimi Nagano’s polished, velveteen vocals. The pounding bass-line effortlessly drives ‘Hold On‘ forward, the steady, gradual heartbeat accompanying the detailed intricacies of retro electronic timbres and the passionate tone; playful and slick, elements of disco and funk shine through with a curious, melodious experimentation that is mesmerising in nature.

The electric, rhymic intimacy of ‘Every Rain’ cradles Nagano’s vocals in a mesmerising tranquility in their lustrous satin tone; an effortless flow of introspection sparkles tenderly in the ripe serenity of lyrical, electronic textures – the confident bass steady as the track’s gossamer backbone. Swallowed in a touching, wistful groove – a romantic dynamism in timbre crafting a reflective, touching tone; Nagano’s vocals beautifully expressive with meditative hues of dreamy melancholy. Glittering electronics shimmer as a starry night, a soundscape filled with yearning, a track filled with a musing heart. The reflective ambient soundscape glides in closing as reflective, airy dream; a moment to take a breath and absorb the intricacies of of the surrounding soundscape – a closed eye quiet time.

As to be expected of Little Dragon ‘New Me, Same Us‘ is filled with soul, an intimacy and tenderness that is meditative but also showcases elements of playfulness in the carefully constructed, detailed and driven energy that glimmers within the tracks. The evolution the band has expressed within the album is evident, a charming and touching listen within it’s genre-splicing and passionate soundscapes.

Stream & Purchase New Me, Same Us by Little Dragon
For more information follow Little Dragon on Facebook

Rating: 7.5 / 10

Feature Image: Little Dragon by Ellen Edmar