Little Dragon – Season High review

Sweden’s Lit­tle Drag­on have nev­er been ones for stand­ing still. Their self-titled debut album was, and still is, a mar­vel of seduc­tive neo-soul. Fast-for­ward to 2017, and the band have con­tin­ued their exper­i­ments with sound, and proved them­selves to be adept at mor­ph­ing between a whole gamut of styles. They’ve had every­one from Goril­laz and DJ Shad­ow to Big Boi and Kay­trana­da call­ing on them.

What mat­ters right now, though, is their new album, Sea­son High – or per­haps more accu­rate­ly: how high it will get you.

Sea­son High sees our favourite Swedish exper­i­men­tal­ists colonis­ing their sound. It’s a mix­ture of sul­try pop, dance and down­tem­po, blend­ed with an arty splen­dour. It’s abstract, allur­ing and bliss­ful­ly indi­vid­ual. ‘But­ter­flies’ will appeal to those with a love of Frank Ocean’s melod­ic inter­ludes, ‘Should I’ is a hyper­ac­tive love note with an under­cur­rent of Prince (“I wan­na be your lover… invite me in”), while the swirls and swish­es of ‘High’ and ‘Cel­e­brate (feat. Agge)’ will be paint­ed on your mind for hours.

How­ev­er, for those that have been fly­ing with Lit­tle Drag­on across all their incar­na­tions to date, parts of this album can come off as thrilling­ly auda­cious but also dis­joint­ed. Songs such as ‘The Pop Life’, ‘Sweet’ and sev­en-minute clos­er ‘Grav­i­ty’ have their moments – and they’ll sure­ly be ter­rif­ic live, giv­en the evo­lu­tion of group’s live shows into a trance-induc­ing dance act. But they lack the elu­sive pow­er of, say, ‘Test’, ‘Con­stant Sur­pris­es’ or ‘Sec­onds’, and the beau­ti­ful tes­sel­la­tion between those songs and oth­ers on their respec­tive albums. All the same, Sea­son High is a seduc­tive, unpre­dictable effort that rep­re­sents the grace­ful matur­ing of Lit­tle Dragon.


Sea­son High is out now on Because Music.

If you like this artist, check out: Bat for Lash­es; Gold­frapp

Image: cour­tesy of Lit­tle Dragon/PR