Local Natives

This week saw the release of the eagerly awaited second album from Local Natives.  Following on from the success of the self-funded Gorilla Manor, this indie offering is the first of their albums to not feature Andy Hamm, the original bass guitarist of the band.  The band hail from LA, a collective of artists and musicians that personify the words “collaborative effort.”  For their second album, the band acquired a new studio and set about creating the sounds and artwork for Hummingbird.

Local Natives have been compared to Fleet Foxes and Vampire Weekend, the faces of the American alternative music scene.  But such a broad categorisation is unfair to the band, who’s modern psych folk/rock sound is unique.  To cut the jargon, Hummingbird is great.  Written after tours with Arcade Fire and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and co-produced by The National’s Aaron Dressner, it would be easy brush it off as a “try hard”, a carbon copy of Manor.  Well, if this is your view – you’ll soon be eating your words.  “Breakers”, a standout track on the album.  Crackling guitars propel through harmonies of synth and voices, if you don’t bristle after this song, you should see a medical professional.  “Columbia” combines a strong armed drum set with the distorted cry “Am I loving enough?” “Bowery” completes the album, an indie anthem to fully silence the haters.

Hummingbird is a January blues dissipater.  Its a hard month, but the Natives have managed to expertly execute our blues, with a piano, some guitars and drums and a bath full of talent.  It was released on Friday the 25th of January via Infectious Records.

-Kathryn Toolan