Little Dragon: Dance-Pop With A Spark

In "NightLight," Little Dragon makes pop music for people who think they hate pop music. i i

In "NightLight," Little Dragon makes pop music for people who think they hate pop music. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the artist
In "NightLight," Little Dragon makes pop music for people who think they hate pop music.

In "NightLight," Little Dragon makes pop music for people who think they hate pop music.

Courtesy of the artist

Wednesday's Pick

Song: "NightLight"

Artist: Little Dragon

CD: Ritual Union

Genre: Dance-Pop

Compared to the output of other European nations, Swedish pop actually makes it across the Atlantic in significant numbers. When it does reach the U.S., it often doesn't take long before it's embraced by listeners of all kinds. The country's latest contribution is Little Dragon, a band whose newly acquired buzz was built in increments, one collaboration at a time.

There was the guest spot on Gorillaz's Plastic Beach and a yet-to-be-heard studio session with Big Boi, among others, so it's no surprise that the group sounds so confident in "NightLight," the first single from the upcoming Ritual Union.

Little Dragon makes pop music for folks who think they hate pop music, and one important trick when attempting such a feat is to make the melody sound more complex than it is. The hook in "NightLight" is carved out of a couple of stiff keyboard chords, which don't quite fit together but still fall neatly into place on the 4/4 beat. They might be the unexpected visitors Yukimi Nagano sings about, the ones who are "turning and twisting to form a line." Her lithe vocals sync up with the song's electric undercurrent, providing the spark in a dance number which might otherwise seem suited for a dilapidated disco hall.

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