Easy, breezy dance music
Little Dragon is an electronic band hailing from Sweden that has been releasing music for well over a decade now. They have become known for the striking vocals of their frontwoman, Yukimi Nagano. The band are quickly following up their 2017 album Season High with this new three-track EP. There is also an additional three-minute radio edit of the title track.
Lover Chanting throws it back to the ’70s and ’80s with old-school stress-relieving dance music. These are dance songs where the synth-based instrumentals are laced with “oohs” and “aahs.” In a lot of ways, the band are spinning their wheels in the mud, not really progressing or changing, but the EP still manages to be enjoyable and would be a decent starter kit for anyone new to dance music.
The vocals of Nagano are mostly good, though there are some questionable production choices. Nagano is strong and sultry on the verses, where her vocals are less filtered by effects and overdubbing. Elsewhere, especially on the hooks, the effects weaken the impact of the vocals. And while the sensual “ooh-ooh-aah” is an enjoyable tune on the bridge of “Timothy,” the sound of the vocals is off, like perhaps Nagano was singing too close to the microphone.
The hooks are the worst part of this EP. Not only are the vocals layered in an unappetizing way, but the lyrics and presentation are also severely underwritten. The hook on “In My House” is “Take it slower” repeated sixteen times, and the hook on the title track gets old really fast.
On the other hand, the beats and instrumentals offer great grooves that invite your body to move. The title track features a syncopated groove with rhythm guitars, rubbery bass and high-pitched synths that pop in and out. “In My House” features a plethora of resonant and lively percussion. While the beats are breezy and light on the ears, there is enough color and rhythm to keep them interesting for the length of the track. Little Dragon also know how to have fun. They throw in a bridge or airy fade-out every now and then to spice up their songs, and the keyboardist gets a chance to horse around near the end of the title track.
While the music does feel very carefree, it doesn’t feel like much of anything else. This EP could easily be found playing in the background of the local watering hole. Little Dragon are content with making the same old stuff, but like the EP’s cover image of an eye with makeup overlaid on the face of a bearded man, it comes at the price of becoming anonymous.