Cosmic Disco Dragons

Nestled among the all-star cast of guests on Gorillaz’ horizon-chasing opus, Plastic Beach, is a name that might not be familiar. The Swedish quartet Little Dragon appears on the stark duets “Empire Ants” and “To Binge,” co-written by singer Yukimi Nagano. It’s quite a coup for a band with just two albums, but then, it’s not the first time Little Dragon has gotten a sudden boost or done a high-profile collaboration. Nagano sang harmonies vocals on an album by countryman José González, who shares drummer Erik Bodin with the band. Little Dragon has also toured with TV on the Radio and had a song on Grey’s Anatomy. Melding fluid bass and drums with a steady flow of synths and harmonies, the band excels at slow-burn electronic pop tickled with dance and R&B. Its eponymous 2007 debut opened with the standout “Twice,” which sounds like Billie Holiday musing sadly over a remix of Radiohead’s “Pyramid Song.” Last year’s Machine Dreams yielded songs closer to cosmic disco, introducing breezy beauty to dystopian atmosphere. Thus the appeal for Gorillaz, not to mention the rest of us.

VV Brown and HOTTUB open.
April 13-14, 9 p.m., 2010

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