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.
Image: courtesy of Little Dragon/PR