STORY WRITTEN BY MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER
This past May, when Swedish electronic band Little Dragon released its fourth album, “Nabuma Rubberband,” it was the result of almost two years solid touring for the acclaimed Ritual Union record from 2011, which is considered by many to be the one that broke the group in the States. Stakes were high in other words, not only to follow up with something strong, but to continue pushing the boundaries.
Musically inspired by the more experimental elements of Prince’s back catalog, club culture and the vintage Janet Jackson slow jams Little Dragon frontwoman Yukimi Nagano used to listen to wandering around Gothenburg during the unrelenting winter, “Nabuma Rubberband” has a different feel to previous Little Dragon albums.
“When you put some of Janet’s really slow stuff on you feel like you’re floating,” Nagano said in a statement. “That feeling really influenced me and maybe that’s why there are quite a lot of slow jams on the record. In the past we’ve been a bit self-conscious about making slow jams after “Twice” (the lead track on the four piece’s self-titled debut).
“Then we wanted to make dance music which we did with Machine Dreams (2009) and then Ritual Union still had a dance vibe, but with this album it wasn’t about that,” she added. “The intention was about whatever we felt strongly about.”
The end result is a blend of R&B strands, electronic and indie into beautifully and meaningfully crafted songs like the hits “Klapp Klapp,” “Let Go” and “Paris.” It’s no wonder Little Dragon has steadily grown from being the biggest underground secret to international acclaim and touring all over the world. Their energetic live set will be display at Union Transfer Oct. 13, and it will become quickly clear how fans of the band include some of the biggest names in music including Pharrell Williams, Questlove, and OutKast.
Just last week, Los Angeles indie-rock champs Local Natives teamed up with indie soulster Moses Sumney for an on-point cover of Little Dragon‘s “After The Rain” at a show in Santa Monica. According to firsthand reports, the bopping banger was treated to a huge, revamped treatment with Sumney at the helm, leading the charge with a blistering vocal, while the Natives did the track justice in the background.