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Preview: Little Dragon

Noah Bonaparte Pais on the Swedish band coming to Republic June 10

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"Rubber" is a descriptor that's been synonymous with Little Dragon from the start, both in the energetic synthetics of its bass ricochets and in the guarded sexuality of singer Yukimi Nagano's breathy suggestiveness, which slides perfectly into the purgatory between Janet Jackson's flirtatious come-ons and explicit bedroom consummations. With its third LP, the Gothenburg, Sweden, band came right out and front-lined the aesthetic. Nabuma Rubberband (Republic) is, true to form, elastic, tensile pop, strung taut by opposing impulses: iced-over hot springs, propulsive slow jams and seductive kiss-offs. On Machine Dreams and Ritual Union, Nagano alternated her static and kinetic tracks; here she combines them into uneasy, conflicted wholes. Separated siblings "Klapp Klapp" and "Killing Me" work in cause-and-effect tandem, each laying down a bed of grimy synths and freshly unwrapped snares, over which a swooning Nagano first taunts and wags a helpless pursuer, then reverses roles, succumbing to herself. Accelerated wind chimes sink into a quicksand beat on sumptuous ballad "Cat Rider," and closer "Let Go" installs a trampoline floor in a zero-gravity room, Nagano left floating midair, gasping for breath in a hyperbaric chamber, suspended in space like the soaring child on Nabuma's cover. Lawrence Rothman opens. Tickets $25 in advance, $30 day of show.

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