Little Dragon perform “Feather” at the 25th Anniversary of the JazzReggae Festival

Last year at the 25th Anniversary of the JazzReggae Festival, the Swedish electric powerhouse Little Dragon played “Feather” from their album “Machine Deams” to a sold-out crowd. With their modernist interpretation of R&B, Little Dragon played this hit with a futuristic edge. The band’s passion is evident in their performance, and the crowds loves their original sound. For more information about the JazzReggae Festival, please visit jazzreggaefest.com.

Video: Little Dragon perform “Shuffle A Dream” at the Guardian’s studios in London

Swedish electropop five-piece Little Dragon visited the Guardian’s studios to perform Shuffle a Dream, taken from their critically acclaimed album Ritual Union. Rather than explain how they wrote it, lead singer Yukimi Nagano instructs us to listen to the lyrics to understand the song. Source. (Click the image to be taken to the video.)

Mix Mag label Little Dragon as ‘stars of the year’

In 1996 four high school kids were experimenting with music after class and listening to ‘Endtroducing’. 15 years later they were working with DJ Shadow on his comeback record. That’s just one small part of the Swedish band’s incredible 12 months.

Little Dragon’s album, ‘Ritual Union’, has been one of the year’s highlights, while singer Yukimi Nagano has quickly become one of the most recognisable and sought after singers in electronic music. Her voice – one moment soft and delicate, the next sharp and full of energy – complements SBTRKT on his ‘Wildfire’ tune, while the band have also worked with Raphael Saadiq and just come out of the Stankonia studios with Big Boi after helping the Outkast rapper craft his new album.

But don’t expect this to become a trend, as Nagano tells us over the phone from the band’s hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden. She slips out of her tranquil state for the only time during our conversation: “We don’t want to be ‘that collaboration band.’”

“We get so many questions about who we are working with, and being famous because of them, and we are like, ‘look, we make music ourselves and haven’t had help from anyone on our album.’” she adds.

Indeed, their own music expertly fuses electronic Scandinavian pop, foot tapping rhythm and hypnotic melody, which explains why they’ve become such hot property to work with and remix. Tensnake and Maya Jane Coles through to Odd Future’s Syd tha Kyd and Floating Points have all given their own twist on Little Dragon in 2011.

The band’s first EP, ‘Test/4ever’, in 2006 only came about when friends requested they press some of their tracks. “If we didn’t have a label and were working normal jobs, we’d still just be drawn to make music together. We were blown away by the thought that anyone wanted to put out our music, and suddenly realised we needed a name,” says Nagano. Little Dragon, she admits, is because of her fiery temper in the studio.

The reality is that with Peacefrog they do have a UK indie label backing them and they’ve helped themselves in the past year by producing a glorious record, performing barnstorming sets everywhere from Glastonbury to Ibiza and have music royalty knocking down their door to capture their Scandinavian sparkle. Source.

Little Dragon caught live at the Button Factory by Ragged Words

Just over a year ago, Little Dragon performed at Dublin’s Crawdaddy to an audience of not much more than a dozen punters. This evening, by contrast, having initially been booked to play that same small venue once again, the Swedes find themselves in a Button Factory that’s as packed as your reviewer can ever remember seeing it. The band will presumably be sending a grateful Christmas card or two Damon Albarn’s way – since their appearance on the last Gorillaz album (their two co-written contributions ranking among Plastic Beach’s highlights) their profile has soared to occasionally silly levels.

But it hasn’t simply been a case of hitching a ride on the Blur man’s coattails: previous albums Little Dragon (2007) and Machine Dreams (’09) – along with a history of wisely-chosen collaborations (frontwoman Yukimi Nagano, in particular, has shared studio time with José González and SBTRKT, among others, in recent times) – haven’t done them any harm at all in the popularity stakes; nor, judging by that NME Cool List mention as well as the number of lovesick, Movember-‘tachioed indie boys in tonight’s crowd, have Nagano’s striking Scandinasian looks and playful eccentricity.

Ritual Union, the Gothenburg natives’ third LP from earlier this year, however, represents an undeniable turning-point for the band – the record that’s finally brought them close to the precipice marked mainstream popularity. A continuation of LD’s shift away from the eclectic and often jazzy arrangements seen on that self-titled debut towards a more cohesive and (dare we say it) accessible sound, the album utilises rhythm as its central force around which the band weave their quirky synthesis of soul, R&B, pop and jazz – to frequently stunning effect.

Unsurprisingly, the bulk of this evening’s set is drawn from that breakthrough long-player, and the band’s treatment of their material bears all the hallmarks of many years’ experience. Much like Caribou, this is a band who’ve spent the last half a decade refining the tricky art of crafting layered headphones music that also caters for the needs of adrenalised festival crowds. While on record, therefore, much of Ritual Union possesses a sparse, dreamy feel that may require several listens to get to grips with, its live incarnation sees the songs’ rhythmic elements being foregrounded to the point that several of tonight’s cuts feel like extended disco edits of the original album versions.

Each track, from the LP’s eponymous lead single to other highlights like ‘Brush The Heat’ and ‘Shuffle A Dream’, tonight rides a consistently rock-solid metronomic groove, with each of the five band members – including recently-returned touring keyboardist Arild Werling – deftly adding layers of beats and textures, both digital and analogue, to the mix. And speaking of keyboards, the extravagantly-bearded Håkan Wirenstrand stands impassively over his bank of synths like a missing (Viking) member of Kraftwerk, while Nagano confidently claims centre stage, often taking advantage of the instrumental breaks to bash a drum pad or cowbell. Again, the constant equation seems to be that more rhythm equals more good times, and it’s one that proves hard to refute as the gig wears on.

A dramatic finale sees the band segue from the heady, polyrhythmic climax of Machine Dreams cut ‘Blinking Pigs’ into ‘Twice’, the gorgeously soulful and otherworldy opener from their self-titled debut. It’s an ending that also serves as a reminder – as if one were needed after a show this good – of the depth of talent at this band’s disposal. The only real surprise is how long it’s taken the record-buying public to discover Little Dragon’s roar. Source. Photographs.