Little Dragon New Me, Same Us Ninja Tune
Little Dragon are clearly onto something. In the two decades plus the Gothenburg quartet has been churning out their illusory blend of electro-pop they have reaped international success, a Grammy nomination and storied collaborations with everyone from Gorillaz to Flying Lotus. But in spite of their string of standout hits and consistent quality, they have yet to really crack the album format, thriving thus far as quintessential single-queens.
New Me, Same Us, their sixth full-length, may not have the instantly replayable bangers of their past projects, but as a unified whole, it is an immediate contender for their strongest album to date. Self-described as their “most collaborative” LP with a focus on going back to basics, the album emerges as the beating heart of the entire Little Dragon sonic ethos.
Charging out of the gate with house stomper Hold On, the band spend the ensuing 10 tracks oscillating between this propulsive energy and the luxuriant downtempo soundscapes of Kids and New Fiction.
Sadness manages to be both at once, arising from a barebones pairing of upbeat percussion and vocalist Yukimi Nagano’s inimitable coo which blossoms into a tropical disco free-for-all, pivoting again in the subsequent Are You Feeling Sad? to a more crisp, kinetic strut.
No one is rewriting the rules on New Me, Same Us, but Little Dragon’s ability to hunker down and produce a work so effusive of their strengths is reward enough.