Little Dragon, Machine Dreams
A quirky and uncannily strange little synth-pop romp
Only a town like Gothenburg could produce a pop prospect as unusual as Little Dragon. The small Swedish city has over the years brought us a variety of inventive pop, from Air France's zesty electronica to Sally Shapiro's Italo-influenced dance, Pacific! and the Tough Alliance — all under the watchful eye of godfathers the Knife and Jose Gonzales. Little Dragon stepped up to the national stage with their 2007 self-titled debut, which won them a devoted crew of converts to their quirky cause — among them TV On The Radio, who snapped the group up for a support tour.
And their sophomore effort sees the band sidestep difficult second album syndrome and offer instead a more refined version of their debut. Introductory track “A New” sets the tone; it's a vaguely tribal pop gem that recalls Gang Gang Dance or Rainbow Arabia and, like much of the LP, deftly combines the organic with the digital, the analogue and electronic. The album’s name alludes to this approach, and the way the band attempt to combine machines that sound human with humans playing machine-like parts. Witness the playful and personified, almost child-like synths of “My Step” and the seemingly-programmed rhythms of “Swimming” for both of these in action.
Forthcoming single "Feather" is Machine Dream's zenith; a dreamy slice of lethargic pop that drifts across the consciousness like Chairlift's "Planet Health" and should no doubt elevate them to new plateau, providing an entry point for casual observers into the weird and wonderful world of Little Dragon.