New Me, Same Us is out now via Ninja Tune
Today, Swedish four-piece Little Dragon is sharing their sixth studio album, New Me, Same Us, and the results are simply divine. For a band constantly evolving, their follow-up to 2017s Season High and 2018s Lover Chanting finds a group more self-aware of their unique driving force than ever before. Where they then spark indisputable magic is not only in their soulful and deep interpretation but also in the delivery of an album oozing with renewed energy.
It’s easy to lose yourself within the sprawling reaches of New Me, Same Us — in part because the group’s idiosyncrasies lie as strongly in their lyrics as it does in their incredibly-layered instrumentation. The album opens with “Hold On,” the first offering presented in March, which in its intro alone alludes to the expansive sounds fully explored as the album develops.
Multi-instrumentalist Håkan Wirenstarnd sets an immersive experience on the track, preparing for a swift kick from Fredrik Wallin on bass and Erik Bodin on drums and percussion. The tasteful soundscape is then deeply spearheaded by the otherworldly vocals of Yukimi Nagano. While the band has been making music together since their teenage years, this latest self-produced album feels like their finest work to date. Mostly because they continue to outdo themselves in a manner true to their art.
Defying contemporary standards with meticulous precision, these tastemakers explore an ambiance all their own. Leading to lush instrumentation that never overpowers, yet always finds opportune moments to complement an already full-bodied sound. From the drums and keys on “Rush” and “Are You Feeling Sad?” to the harmonious bass on “Another Lover” and “New Fiction” — New Me, Same Us is laden with sounds as special and attention-grabbing as Nagano’s voice.
Created entirely in the Gothenburg studio responsible for all past bodies of work, including 2014’s Grammy-nominated Nabuma Rubberband, the quartet returns to familiar territory while launching into remarkable unknowns. “Every Rain,” a mid-album standout, is one that perfectly captures the slow-burning eccentricities of Little Dragon. A longstanding gift that makes their growing discography a must-hear.
The new album reflects on phases of life, dissecting truths, and dichotomies of newfound love and loss while sonically experimenting with electro-R&B driven sounds. As seen more precisely with “Sadness,” “Where You Belong,” and “Water.” The latter closes Little Dragon’s 11-track effort but only after the absolutely incredible 6-minute track “Stay Right Here,” which undoubtedly features one of the best outros created recently. New Me, Same Us is available now via Ninja Tune. Stream here.
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