Video | Little Dragon
There's always been this looming sense of mysticism in Little Dragon's work, and it's grown as steadily as the Swedish quartet's rise in stature. It began with a delightful hint of weird on their self-titled debut and has blossomed in a way that's help define Little Dragon's character, be it their circumvention of standard pop tropes, their increased penchant for stormy extended jam sessions, and particularly with their latest, their flirtation with esoteric subject matter.
"Klapp Klapp," the debut single that emerged today as the lead-in to the band's fourth record, Nabuma Rubberband, disguises its spirit-world yarn in a hyperactive romp punctuated by anxious drums and a restless bassline. But it's lead singer Yukimi Nagano's charming delivery that's the track's most disarming distraction. As powerful as an instrument as she is a unique storyteller, Nagano's singing is easy to get lost in without even digesting a word she's said. You'd almost never know she's painting a picture of "spirits blowing like a hurricane whip" or "a ghost inside that could wake us alive."
Turning to the haunting video directed by award-winning director Taylor Cohen and you get a clearer sense of "Klapp Klapp"s occult undertone. Set in the Dominican Republic, the ritualistic voodoo dance on display is hellbent on awakening the ghosts and spirits in Nagano's lyrics, through a series of set pieces focused on the writhing dance moves of a women you'd expect is fluent in speaking in tongues. A triple threat of spiritual future-jazz musing, inspired performance, and visual artistry, "Klapp Klapp" sets a strong tone for Little Dragon's re-emergence this year.
— Joshua P. Ferguson