klapp

The Guardian: “Little Dragon: a band on the verge of greatness”

For most of Little Dragon’s performance – a low-key comeback, presaging a highly anticipated new album – they remain more or less invisible. Backlit in blue, gauzed in dry ice, the Swedish foursome are occasionally illuminated from the side. Lanky bassist Fred Wallin’s shadow projects up the brick walls of this former warehouse. You can make out bushy-bearded, ponytailed keyboard magus Håkan Wirenstrand in silhouette. Singer Yukimi Nagano shirks the usual strutting, fretting and spotlighting that goes with being a frontwoman, her sinuous vocals just one of the elements – acrylic digitals, live percussion, deep bass – swirling around. A dancer in a catsuit and large shades turns up at the back, adding her lively shapes to Nagano’s supplicating arm gestures …

… There is an element of frustration to Little Dragon’s tasteful, non-U groove-pop, however. They are very near some kind of greatness; all it would take is some minor concession to structure and focus. A case in point is one of tonight’s highlights: the oscillation unleashed near the end of Klapp Klapp, Little Dragon’s sort-of new single. It’s typical Dragon: a louche bassline leads into a busy on-beat. There are some heavenly noises. It’s hard to make out what Nagano is singing, adding to a sense of impenetrable prettiness. But why does the hook come at the end? You’d want to bang your head against the Village Underground’s exposed brickwork, if it weren’t all so lovely.

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