Little Dragon return with their new studio album, ‘New Me, Same Us’. Entirely self-produced and recorded at their long-term home-built studio in Gothenburg, it’s the sound of a band going back to basics and falling back in love with their instruments: drums, bass, keyboards, harp, guitar and voice, to produce some of their most focussed and inarguably best music to date.
The first single, ‘Hold On’—available today—is a message about breaking away and moving on. “it started out as a slick house track” explain the band, “but transformed once Fred played the base through it and we all worked it together. It became something raw and soulful. It’s a simple groove that makes us dance. We can’t wait to play it live because once we play it live it most certainly will change again”
Having played together since their school days in Gothenburg—where they’d meet up after class to jam and listen to records by artists like A Tribe Called Quest and Alice Coltrane—the band is fronted by enigmatic and much-loved vocalist Yukimi Nagano, with multi-instrumentalists Håkan Wirenstarnd and Fredrik Wallin on keyboards and bass respectively and Erik Bodin on drums and percussion. ‘New Me, Same Us’ represents another chapter in the continuing evolution of Little Dragon, finding a new direction in their unique style of unhurried, off-kilter RnB, pop and electronics, they sound as rejuvenated and energised as ever. “This album has been the most collaborative for us yet.” they explain, “which might sound weird considering we’ve been making music together for all these years, but we worked hard at being honest, finding the courage to let go of our egos and be pieces of something bigger.” The record also finds them in a reflective mood, Yukimi’s distinctive vocals musing on transitions, longing, and saying goodbye. “We are all on our own personal journeys,” they say, “full of change, yet still we stand united with stories we believe in, that make us who we are.”
For a band who are proudly left-of-centre and fiercely protective of doing things on their own terms, they have achieved no shortage of mainstream recognition. Grammy-nominated for 2014’s ‘Nabuma Rubberband’, Little Dragon have long been seen as one of the most sought-after groups to work with. Chalking up an enviable list of collaborators throughout the years, working with equally groundbreaking artists like BADBADNOTGOOD, Gorillaz, SBTRKT, Flying Lotus, Flume, Kaytranada, Big Boi (who was first put on to the band via fellow Outkast member André 3000), De La Soul, DJ Shadow, Tinashe, Mac Miller, Future, Raphael Saadiq, Faith Evans and more.
Their hugely popular and highly regarded live performances have also spawned a global, decade-spanning touring career which has seen them perform at some of the world’s most revered festivals such as Coachella, Glastonbury, Bestival, Lollapalooza, Melt, Dour and Sonar Festival, as well as recently co-headlining a show with Flying Lotus at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl and playing Tyler, The Creator’s ‘Camp Flog Gnaw’. Following a sold-out headline show at London’s Printworks in 2019, the band return to O2 Brixton Academy on 26th March, as part of a run of dates across Europe and North America in 2020.
Artwork is produced by award-winning Swedish director, producer, screenwriter and animator Johannes Nyholm (who’s shadow puppetry short film ‘Dreams from the Woods’ was used as the music video for Little Dragon’s ‘Twice’) and continues the band’s long history of working with boundary-pushing creatives across the worlds of art and design, including IB Kamara (i-D, Dazed, Vogue), David Uzochukwu (Dior, FKA Twigs, Nike) on previous album ‘Season High’ and on the limited edition photobook for this release, Vicki King on their ‘Lover Chanting’ EP and Lena Mačka on their recent ‘Tongue Kissing’ single.
‘New Me, Same Us’ is out physically and digitally on 27th March on Ninja Tune.
01. Hold On
03. Another Lover
05. Every Rain
06. New Fiction
08. Are You Feeling Sad?
09. Where You Belong
10. Stay Right Here
Press shot by Ellen Edmar