Swedish electronic kids Little Dragon have been around for nearly 16 years, but their profile has only exploded recently with the release of their third studio album 'Ritual Union'. Their sound skilfully combines the dreamy soulful voice of lead singer Yukimi Nagano punctuated by the futuristic trance-like rhythms of the rest of the band.
‘Ritual Union’ the title song from their latest album was greeted enthusiastically as Yukimi, dressed in bright yellow tights, white nightshirt and a transparent sun visor, jumped around the smoky strobe-lit stage.
An eerie and low-tempo Brush The Heat was well received, building up with infectious cowbells and several bandmembers drumming – Yukimi took to her electronic drum setup, which resembled a giant kids toy with oversized, primary coloured squares.
Sticking predominantly to tracks from 'Ritual Union', the band followed up with 'Shuffle A Dream' and a haunting 'Crystalfilm', all the time a hyperactive Yukimi roamed around the stage with her teardrop-shaped tambourine.
As the heavy rumbling bass kicked into 'Preciou's, a fierce red light flooded the stage, giving the track a distinctively dark edge. The song morphed into a lengthy improvisation that stretched on almost symphonically, and Yukimi’s soaring vocals crescendoed to a towering finale, which was the perfect song to end their set.
After that performance it’s easy to see why they are steadily gaining a reputation as an impressive live act, and for the encore the band again delivered with a riotous version of Little Man and an equally energetic Nightlight, finishing up the night with their standout hit Twice from their eponymous Little Dragon debut album. The song really showcased Nagano’s soulful and robust vocals, and it sounded even more sentimental with an unexpected piano interlude.
If you’re going to Lovebox, Benicassim or Bestival this summer, make sure you check out Little Dragon, you will definitely not be disappointed.