Yukimi Nagano (vocals, percussion), Erik Bodin (drums), Fredrik Wallin (bass), and Håkan Wirenstrand (keyboards), who make up the band Little Dragon, are back with their eagerly awaited sophomore album, Machine Dreams (scheduled to release in August). Their 2007 eponymous debut album hit us with a new vibe and style, it was no surprise their success skyrocketed – good music, is simply good music. I will be completely honest, on first listen of Machine Dreams, I felt a tinge of disappointment. I expected the soulful vibe, the hip hop infused beats, electronic bass, intertwined with Yukimi’s voice.
Machine Dreams‘s formula is very similar to the self-titled Little Dragon, only this time around, they have taken a more commercial pop route with a more pedestrian pace. It’s mid-way between the dark and harrowing electronics of fellow Swedes Fever Ray to prime 80s Prince (Controversy/Dirty Mind eras). It may appear to be a big leap from their debut, as Machine Dreams is more experimental and futuristic than their debut. Yukimi’s vocals still contain her charm. Being one of the former singers of the group Koop, quite frankly, she can sing over anything and sound good. Her description of Machine Dreams is, “These days humans seem more and more like machines as technology evolves, machines feel more human and it becomes fuzzy and beautiful and science fiction-ish. We feel dependent on our machines to create and live, and their sounds reflect us.” You’re not wrong!
“Thunder Love” is absolutely beautiful. Her vocals are soulful, and at times, (especially on the upbeat pop songs) you can hear her ancestry through her voice.
This did start off as lukewarm album review, however, there are definite gems on Machine Dreams. Sophomoric pressure is hard to live up to and I’m certain Deejays will find inspiration through Little Dragon’s inventiveness on Machine Dreams as the crux of what they do best is uncompromised. Bring on the third album. We eagerly await many more! Check out Thunder Love below.
“Thunder Love” featured on Machine Dreams by Little Dragon