Last night, Swedish quartet Little Dragon gave us a preview of songs from their forthcoming album “Ritual Union” and not only cemented their place in the hearts of KCRW music fans, but virtually guaranteed that their name will be known far beyond our airwaves by years end.
They started out slowly, with the dramatic “Twice,” and you could almost hear a pin drop in the room of less than 200 people, Bob Clearmountain’s living room-style Berkeley Street studio. They had us hanging on the edge of every note.
The energy in the room was palpable when they played their single “Nightlite,” as well as past favorites “Blinking Pigs” and “My Step”. (if you want a taste of their sound, go here)
I’ve described their music as electro-pop in the past but that was a mistake. It’s more like soulful disco. Beat heavy music that creates an air of sensuality that is hard to capture in words.
A lot of it is due to the incomparable vocals of Swedish-Japanese singer Yukimi Nagano. And when I say incomprarable, I mean it. I’ve never heard anyone like her and I overheard that sentiment being whispered amongst the attendees last night. It’s also probably one of the reasons Gorillaz featured her voice on “Empire Ants,” arguably the best track off their last album.
She is a stunning beauty and it’s hard to take your eyes off her, not just because of the purple animal print dress she wore, but because she embodies every word she sings. Her movements demonstrate her complete dedication to being in the moment with the music and you feel that from the entire band. They communicate as a unit very well.
That kinship explains what seemed like a rather unusual move early in her career. In her late teens, she was a part of Koop, a band that seemed on a clear path to success. But she left to form Little Dragon because she wanted to sing her own lyrics and melodies.
It’s becoming incredibly clear that she made the right choice. Little Dragon is one of the most played bands at KCRW over the last three years, but something tells me this next album will launch them to fame.
The session was taped to air on Morning Becomes Eclectic on July 18.
Check out the set list below and view more photos from Jeremiah Garcia.
Little Dragon at Apogee’s Berkeley Street Studios
Brush the Heart
>interview with Host Garth Trinidad