Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased tracks, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Ritual Union” by Little Dragon from the 2011 album Ritual Union on Peacefrog.
Little Dragon - Ritual Union (MP3)
Little Dragon are a Swedish electronic band featuring (and really a showcase for) the voice of Swedish-Japanese singer Yukimi Nagano. The band has recently released their third album, Ritual Union; however, you may be more familiar with Nagano’s amazing voice in recent collaborations on SBTRKT’s amazing debut album (listen to the single “Wildfire”) or from two spots on the equally brilliant Gorillaz’s Plastic Beach album. Overall, her band, Little Dragon, encompasses many different styles and influences, taking R&B tinged vocals and matching them with electronic, pop, neo-soul, and hip-hop. It’s music not meant to be classified by a single genre, but calling it a well executed take on modern pop is a good starting point.
This comes together best on the title track and our featured song, “Ritual Union,” a brilliant pop track that showcases Nagano’s charm, the talents of her backing band, and the minimalist approach used to produce their trademark sound. If this song and their latest album is any indication, the future looks very bright for this shining star.
You can read all about the band on their official website and check them out when they come to the Northwest early next month for both Bumbershoot and MusicfestNW. If you want to hear more right now, here’s the Tensnake Remix of “Ritual Union”: