Little Dragon, 'Machine Dreams' (Peacefrog)

7
Machine Dreams
Critical Mass
Label: Peacefrog

by Mosi Reeves

With nods to synth pop, electro, and funk, Sweden's Little Dragon fill their second album with bleeping keyboards and jazzy arpeggios, recalling both Howard Jones and Saint Etienne (with some jittery Hot Chip grooves thrown in). But what sets Machine Dreams apart is frontwoman Yukimi Nagano's alternately yelping and cooing voice. Spinning wryly romantic tales of "Thunder Love" and "Fortune" over eerie melodies and Fairlight synthesizer washes, she's consistently captivating.

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