The Local Natives Hopes To Attract Sweet Success With “Hummingbird”
A lot can change in two years. Tom Cruise still had Katie Homes in captivity, the Arab Spring had yet to begin, One Direction had just got off the ground, and Lindsay Lohan--well she was a mess back then as well.
As far as the indie rock scene goes, no Southern California band has had perhaps as much success as the Local Natives.
Just a few short years ago, the native Orange County band was playing out of their garage, barely booking any shows. They caught a slight break after college, emerging in the Silverlake area as a re-appearing band.
After releasing their debut album, "Gorilla Manor," in November of 2010, Local Natives garnered much success with a loyal indie following, as well as having their music played on KROQ and numerous features in music publications.
The band went on to open for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and play shows across the globe.
Teir sophomore album, “Hummingbird,” may come as a pleasant surprise to Local Native fans. Although not as upbeat as “Gorilla Manor,” this new record nevertheless is a masterpiece of solemnity and artistic focus.
“Hummingbird” was written during a month-long retreat to the mystical Joshua Tree. Many of the songs describe heartache and sorrow, and the way the Local Natives meticulously construct such emotions may leave even the toughest critics wooed.
Although “Hummingbird” is not exactly a cheery escape, it still is a diligent effort to convey the emotions of the musicians.
“Heavy Feet” follows, starting off as a slower track, but eventually ending quite powerfully. It is a rather eclectic tune that is more up-tempo than the rest of the album. The chorus is what makes this song, in my opinion, the strongest on the album.
Once you hit “Ceilings” and “Black Spot,” the more reflective tracks begin to set in with soothing melodies and sentimental lyrics such as “We were staring at our ceilings/ Thinking of what we'd give to have one more day of sun.”
“Mt. Washington” and “Bowery” further add to the slower paced, contemplative tone of “Hummingbird.” Additionally, “Three Months” is very similar in that laced with introspective lyrics, this song utilizes a more serious tone. The repetition of “I am letting you know I am ready to feel you” tugs at even the most emotionless heartstrings.
The first single off “Hummingbird” was “Breakers.” This track, along with “Wooly Mammoth” are most like “Gorilla Manor.” They serve as the fun, summer beats among a record streaked with sorrow.
Metaphorically, this song describes how because he is on the other side, it is difficult for him to assess situations clearly but people are the “breakers,” or they can see situations in their entirety.
Not to be confused with the '90s alternative hit, “Black Balloons” is a little dull. The track does not pick up until the song is almost over, leaving listeners a little confused.
On the opposite side, “Columbia” may be the most heartfelt track the Local Natives have recorded. The song was written after the lead singer, Kelcey Ayer's, mom passed away; the lyrics detail how he meditates on if he’s “giving enough” because of how much his mom gave to him through his life. These chilling lyrics leave you with goosebumps from the outpour of emotion.
Though most of “Hummingbird” communicates immense heartache, the album molds itself into a very strong work of musical genius on the part of the band. In the next few years, the Local Natives may indeed gain nationwide success with the help of their sophomore album.
Read more of NT's album reviews here.
Reach Staff Reporter Jillian Morabito here.
Buy the album on iTunes for $8.99.