Swedish trip-hop outfit Little Dragon return with a single both primal and modern—“Klapp Klapp,” off their upcoming album “Nabuma Rubberband,” layers heavily compressed bass over the insistent thump of raw, tribal-sounding drums. Though the band claims that their upcoming album is influenced by the “Janet Jackson slow jams [frontwoman Yukimi Nagano] used to listen to wandering around Gothenburg during the unrelenting winter,” “Klapp Klapp” is stubbornly upbeat, peppered with trills of synth and framed around a chant-like, infectious chorus: “Falling apart, apart, apart, apart, apart.”
But some of the song’s appeal is lost as Little Dragon struggle to convey the verbal aspect of their message to listeners. The lyrics of “Klapp Klapp” are stilted and occasionally nonsensical—Nagano’s breathy, stratospheric vocals are forgotten in the attempt to decipher lines like “Falling through the floor on my broken butterfly wing / Gimme one more, the girl from the corridor sing / She sing.”
Regardless, “Klapp Klapp” melds the experimental and the familiar into a track that is oddly accessible despite pushing at the established boundaries of pop and electronica. It’s evident that Little Dragon know who they are and where they want to go with their music—it’s simply a matter of crossing the lyrical speed bumps that stand between them and their destination.
“Nabuma Rubberband” is out on May 13 via Loma Vista Recordings in the United States.
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