7/10 high season.
Five albums in and it seems that Gothenberg four-piece Little Dragon have musically settled into some kind of rhythm. Where 2014’s Namuba Rubberband laid down their new blueprint of 80’s electro pop, here Season High refines it.
It’s a confident sounding work, full of catchy hooks, sharp choruses and sparkly synthesizers. Tracks like “Sweet” and “Strobe Light” provide the clubby beats, while “Should I” and opener “Celebrate” chime along to sampled oriental keyboard presets straight off a 1980’s Casio. Contrasting nicely with the above are the more downtempo moments like “Butterflies” and the falsetto lullaby “Don’t Cry”, but really it all seems to click best on the more upbeat material.
Pulling it all together is the compelling front woman Yukimi Nagano – her soulful vocals elevating everything they touch in much the same way that her numerous guest spots have helped acts like Gorillaz and De La Soul. The album’s other great strength is just how economical it sounds. Aside from the rambling 7 minute closer “Gravity”, each track bounces into the next with very little fuss to make up an LP that clocks in at under 45 minutes.
There is a nagging sense that some of the tracks like “High” could have been shifted up a gear more frequently (after all, the title isn’t talking about altitude) – but Season High is so dreamily cheerful it’s hard not to love anyway.
Like this? Try these:
Saint Etiene – Words and Music
Pitch perfect pop.
Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man – Out of Season
Near flawless blend of folk/electronica voiced by enigmatic Portishead enchantress.
Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man
Conceptual electro-pop from Kate Bush protégé Natasha Khan.
Little Dragon: Season High
7/10 high season.