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.