Little Dragon 'Fertilizing' for New Album

Swedish electro-pop group wrapping follow-up to 2011 breakthrough 'Ritual Union'

Little Dragon
Courtesy of Little Dragon
October 17, 2013 1:06 PM ET

Little Dragon have finished most of the work on their fourth album and will release it in the spring, the Swedish group told Rolling Stone at a party in their honor Wednesday at Los Angeles's Levi's Haus. A few mixes are still in the works and the band is currently determining the tracklisting, they said.

See Where Little Dragon's 'Ritual Union' Ranks on the 50 Best Albums of 2011

The band started working on the album in early 2013 in their hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden following extensive touring behind 2011's Ritual Union.

"I think when we started we had no vision whatsoever," singer Yukimi Nagano said. "We just wanted to make the ball start rolling and just brainstorm ideas and see what comes up and then make plans thereafter. I think a lot of visions came through. Our sound is wide – it's not just one particular style – so we dove into different worlds. New worlds, new spaces we haven't been to before. There definitely are elements of sonically romantic tracks. It feels like there are different moods and we're exploring ourselves a bit."

Little Dragon added a string quartet to several songs, three or four of which will make the album, marking the first time they've collaborated with outside musicians. The string players, members of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, could perform with the group in the future.

"It's nice to see your music reflected on another musician," drummer Erik Bodin said. "Especially when they come from the outside and you can see how they interpret it. It's an honor."

The band is also working with a few big-name mixers (whom they declined to name) on certain tracks. Until now, the musicians have kept every part of the recording process in-house.

"It seemed interesting to let go," bassist Fredrik Källgren Wallin said. "We've never really had the opportunity before."

Nagano agreed. "In the past there's no way we had a budget to do that," she said. "There's always been a compromise somewhere. We're happy with our mixes – all the guys are really diving in and honing their own mixing skills – but there are those people out there who only do this."

Little Dragon will perform two shows in New York next week – October 23rd at the Bowery Ballroom and October 24th at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. For the most part, though, they're planning to spend the coming months preparing the creative elements of the new album. Set to tour extensively in the spring, the band have several videos in the works, possibly including a short film for one of the tracks. The musicians already feel the urge to get out there and promote the new material.

"It's going to be amazing for us, and hopefully for others," Bodin said. "We've been – not tired of ourselves, but we really needed to make new music to energize the whole band. We toured for a while. This is our life and these are my closest people, and we spend so much time together, so giving us some new songs pushes us to the next step. It fertilizes us."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »