Little Dragon – Season High Review 

Little Dragon’s new album ‘Season High’, their fifth and follow-up to 2014’s Grammy nominated ‘Nabuma Rubberband’, is the first time the band have sort production skills from outside sources, in the shape of producers Patrik Berger (Charli XCX, Lana Del Rey) and James Ford (Foals, Arctic Monkeys). Creating an album that at times almost seems a little more passé than sensually psychedelic for Little Dragon. Each track reflects not only Berger and Ford’s previous work but appears heavily intertwined with that popular ‘The Weeknd’, ‘Anna Meredith’, 80’s high-fashion evocative atmosphere.
Opener ‘Celebrate’ pulls right back to a dark corner of a badly lit 80’s New York club, with one line even including ‘one hundred red balloon’s, which may or may not be a slight Nena reference. Though Nena isn’t the 80’s icon clearly embraced among Little Dragons new tracks. Echoes of Prince are woven through each second of ‘Season High’, as though a reminder of everything that experimental pop has lost over such a short amount of time. ‘High’, ‘The Pop Life’, ‘Butterflies’ and sugar coated eight bit sound-effect ‘Sweet’ continue the use of expertly precise moody synths, as though the Swedish band are brooding over alt-pops loss with some intensely retro demo settings.
Over all ‘Season High’ displays Little Dragons expertise in the current 80’s revival sound. Where tracks like ‘Should I’ and ‘Push’ are at a first headache inducing synth buzzes that strive to be moody dance tracks, filled with clanking percussive layers and some Charlie XCX conspicuous lyrics, gems like ‘Don’t Cry’, ‘Strobe Light’ and ‘Gravity’ enhance lead singer, and songwriter, Yukimi Nagano’s vocal creating gentle atmospheric wanderings that encapsulate the overall feel of the album – a little uncomfortable at first but with the intention of escapism to some surreal corner of the universe – each working to remind you why this band is in such demand as collaborators. 

Little Dragon – Season High = 6/10

Hayley Miller 

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