‘An important statement from a band who have managed to keep control of their own process’
Grace Almond
15:42 26th March 2020

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Little Dragon are one of the most dynamic collectives around, moving through life with an unapologetic need to experiment with their sound. It feels like New Me, Same Us is Little Dragon combining years of musicianship and experimental sounds to express their own identity as a band. In their own words, “this album has been the most collaborative” for them yet.

The record’s narrative is crafted cleverly to express themes of heartbreak and disappointment, moving into messages of letting go and taking control of your own story. Lead single ‘Hold On’ takes heed from previous collaborators like Kaytranada, combining funk and electronic with focussed and precise percussion. It’s a song about moving on, and the perfect leading cut on a project which expresses this sentiment perfectly.

‘Rush’ takes a slower turn, mixing strong percussion elements with Yukimi Nagano’s hypnotic vocals. Both this and ‘Another Lover’ speak of pining after lost love and the heartache that comes with it.

The second half of New Me, Same Us brings positivity and empowerment. On ‘New Fiction’, Little Dragon pave a path towards self-determination, and a deep bass gives it a fuller feel. ‘Sadness’ speaks to finding out the truth about someone you thought you knew everything about, moving into ‘Are You Feeling Sad?’, with the band telling you, “no worries no worries, no, you’re gonna be alright though”.

‘Water’ is a more subdued ending to an album filled with moments of reflection and beautifully constructed sounds. There are welcomed elements of soul throughout the record, although that does put tracks like ‘Every Rain’ at risk of ballad status. Despite this, it’s a real triumph, and feels like an important statement from a band who have managed to keep control of their own process.

New Me, Same Us is released on 27 March 2020 via Ninja Tune.

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