“Dazzle Every Step”: Little Dragon On Regret and Renewal

Video recorded by David Martínez

Although humankind has been making music for about as long as there have been humans, complete with an infinite array of genres and styles, what stands as a universal, aside from the love song, is the break up song. As long as there is love and heartache there will be songwriters composing their odes. Yukimi Nagano and her band mates in Little Dragon make a techno-sultry contribution to this musical tradition with “Killing Me.” The performance video included here was something I recorded from the front row of their gig at The Marquee Theater in Tempe, AZ on Wednesday, October 8, 2014.

Appearing on Little Dragon’s 2014 album Nabuma Rubberband, “Killing Me” is less about the pains of breaking up and more about the agony of realizing that you absolutely have to break up or else. “Mood swing/Have another drink/What’s that you said?/I see a side of you/Pass the eyes and through,” Nagano sings lusciously as the lyrics evoke an unhappy and unhealthy relationship to a mid-tempo beat. However, rather than swelling with self-pity, the song portrays someone who has achieved the righteous realization that she deserves better than this! “No longer with you/You created a space/I’ll take my rocket ship/And get the hell out of this/Nothing that I’m gonna miss/You’re killing me!” Ultimately, the song is an anthem to self-liberation and the freedom that comes from recognizing one’s self-worth.

As for the live performance, this was the first time I had the pleasure of seeing Little Dragon in person. A truly remarkable experience. What was especially noteworthy was way in which certain songs, such as “Killing Me,” which was the third song of their set, set female fans into an almost uncontrollable frenzy. In fact, the fights that almost broke out were between females, which shocked me—not because I’m naïve enough to think that girls never fight—rather, it was because Little Dragon’s studio recordings sound pretty mellow. Needless to say, I was completely taken aback when, at the end of my video, event security starts to swarm all over me! What happened apparently was some girl tried rushing the stage, pushing her way through the front rows, which was causing other people to push back. Other than that, it’s a pretty cool vid. Thank you for taking a look!

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Photo credit: David Martínez

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