In July 2011, Esquire writer Andy Langer argued that Little Dragon's sound bears great resemblance to Prince's, and once you engage that comparison, it's difficult to hear the band any other way.
The four-piece from Gothenburg, Sweden, sounds a whole hell of a lot like His Purple Majesty when he was at his best in the 1980s. Both Little Dragon and the man from Paisley Park make the most out of rich synthesizer hooks, wink-wink-kiss vocals (in Dragon's case, they're provided by the sometimes sultry, sometimes soft voice of Yukimi Nagano) and a chic, semi-slick R&B/Pop vibe that only turns cheesy on occasion.
But even with those similarities, Little Dragon is far too capable and confident to ape another artist without showing its own personality. Last year's Ritual Union — the whole reason Langer discussed them in the first place — evidences serious confidence and poise. They are careful both when they go fiery and when they chill out, and with an extra dash of the right je nais se quoi, their sound has legit potential to be big on the right radio stations.
If you need extra reasons to be excited by the possibilities of Little Dragon, consider their high-grade league of collaborators: Nagano has worked with Gorillaz and Electronica general SBTRKT, and the whole band worked on Big Boi's forthcoming Daddy Fat Sax: Soul Funk Crusader.
LITTLE DRAGON perform Wednesday, June 6 at the U.S. Bank Arena with Red Hot Chili Peppers. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here .