Little Dragon are if nothing else, consistent. Since their debut, self-titled album in 2007, they have released an album every two or three years, never keeping fans waiting for too long. Today the wait from 2017’s Season High is over as they have released their new album New Me, Same Us.
Some early fans may hold to their first three albums as the best, but to dismiss their new work would be foolish. New Me, Same Us feels slick and well made, conjuring up some of the most cohesive work in quite some time.
The album oscillates between the two moods that are often felt in their work. At times the album is gentle and meditative like on “Every Rain” and other times danceable with understated living room jams (wash your hands and stay home). There always seems to be a long and hypnotic track on a Little Dragon album and “Stay Right Here” fits the bill with gentle, warbling synths and soft percussion.
The album does have its uplifting and fun moments as well. The LP opens with “Hold On,” which they describe as having a “slick house underbelly.” The album is loaded with danceable R&B, smooth soul and understated funk like on “Sadness.”
The band says this is their most collaborative album to date, fitting since they have spent the past few years collaborating with musicians such as Kaytranada, Gorillaz, Big Boi and Flying Lotus. The version on the album of “Are You Feeling Sad?” does not feature Kali Uchis and the band worked together in a more honest and personal way on this album.
“This album has been the most collaborative for us yet, which might sound weird considering we’ve been making music together for all these years, but we worked hard at being honest, finding the courage to let go of our egos and be pieces of something bigger,” they explain. “We are all on our own personal journeys, full of change, yet still we stand united with stories we believe in, that make us who we are.”
The album finale “Water” feels as smooth as its namesake, washing over you with soft pads and Yukimi Nagano reassuring vocals to calm your nerves.
Little Dragon share another excellent album that consistently delivers on the soulful, jazzy electronica fans have come to know and live. This is the sort of soothing listen you need for days indoors. Get your copy in physical and digital formats here via Ninja Tune.