Little Dragon – Season High

Little Dragon are back again with their fifth album ‘Season High’. We got ourselves all in a fluster with the release of the first single High a couple of months ago and needless to say have been a coiled spring of excitement anticipating the full length which arrived yesterday.

You’re thrown into an 80s time warp with opener ‘Celebrate’ and again as you reach the end on ‘Push’. Journeying in between it feels more experimental (yes apparently that was possible) than previous offerings but you know instantly that it’s a Little Dragon album. Yukimi Nagano’s now instantly recognisable vocal combined with Erik Bodin’s punchy drums, prominent live bass sounds (see ‘Should I’) from Fredrik Källgren Wallin and the splendid synth array of Håkan Wirenstrand are very much their own distinctive entity.

The balance seems more tipped in the direction of mellow tracks than more hyped dance on this release. Tracks like the single ‘High’, ‘Butterflies’ and ‘Don’t Cry’ (where Nagano does her best FKA Twigs impression) are like dream scenes that lift you graciously into the clouds. Fear not though, there’s high danceability on ‘Sweet’ with its relaxed four to the floor beat and infectious synth riff. ‘Strobe Light’ tries to take you in the same direction but doesn’t quite capture the feet in the same way.

Long term fans of Little Dragon will enjoy ‘Season High (out now on Loma Vista), maybe not as much as the previous two offerings (which were superb). We fear however that they won’t win many new fans this time around. Oh well, we’ll still be throwing ourselves at any festival stage they’re playing at.

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