(Photo Credit: http://www.ifc.com/)
This week's Happy Feel Good Song is by the delectable electronic band Little Dragon, from Sweden. Many of their songs get me happy and feeling good but this track in particular tickles me just right. It's the song "Test" from their self entitled debut album.
The name Little Dragon was actually inspired by the nickname of singer Yukimi Nagano, because apparently she used to throw "fuming tantrums" while recording in the studio. Eric, the drummer, came up with the idea to use it as the band's name and they all agreed. According to Nagano, "It's a little exaggerated but there is some truth in it… but we've grown up a bit and I realized you can't have a fit every day because otherwise you won't be able to stand each other." Well I'm glad they've managed to make it work and become such an international success.
The story of their name is especially funny considering the music they make, which is downtempo electronic indie folk music. A sound that doesn't exactly bring to mind a temper-tantrum. This track in particular is a beautiful blend of Nagano's echoing lyrics, a steady beat and delicate melodies. Nagano talks about the back and forth of life. How "just when you wanna relax, a crowd comes. Then a test, a test, a test, no rest." There's no smooth sailing in life, just like in this track at around 2:10, when the beat gets interrupted and it sounds like the track is being sucked up by a vacuum. The underlying baseline melody falls away and we get a signing saxophone melody with an echoing snare drum, until the base line comes back in at 2:40. Then the saxophone and piano play over the baseline melody, weaving back and forth until Nagano starts singing again.
It's a whimsical track with slight nuance-- like the sprinkling of a triangle's clear ping. All in all a happy interpretation of the tests we face in life.
Take a listen and watch the music video (and imagine adorable Nagano throwing a tantrum!) Enjoy!