Published Mar 25, 2020Little Dragon are a band whose star power comes from their laidback cool, an image that has served them well since they started making music together in the late '90s. Over the past few years, the band have gained recognition for their excellent contributions to other artists' songs, collaborating with musicians such as Kaytranada, Gorillaz, Big Boi and Tinashe.
Yet their latest record, New Me, Same Us, their best work since 2014's Nabuma Rubberband, proves that they still have a lot to give on their own. The band sound more polished than ever on this album, opening with the upbeat "Hold On," a lovely and hopeful song that the band notes originated as a "slick house track" that then transformed into something "raw and soulful."
Little Dragon bring their signature oscillation between sparse electronica and danceable R&B to this record, and "Hold On" certainly represents the latter. The album is infused with positive energy, especially in its lyrical content. Singer Yukimi Nagano sounds soulful and relaxed throughout, her distinct voice reassuring us that "You're gonna be alright / Don't worry, don't worry, no," on the album's second single, "Are You Feeling Sad?"
This is an album that celebrates togetherness, family and growing up. The band have asserted that this album "has been the most collaborative for us yet," as they all found themselves on similar paths in their lives and vowed to let go of their egos and share their honest feelings in this new collection. New Me, Same Us is an apt title for this introspective and revitalizing work, and offers an emphatic "yes!" to the question Nagano asks in "Kids": "Are you living for the team?" (Ninja Tune)