You know when you are listening to a new album and you become obsessed trying to figuring out where you heard that particular song before, or perhaps what other band the singer might be from or have collaborated with, or just where exactly they borrowed that guitar riff from…? Well the Local Natives’ new album “Hummingbird” (Infectious Music U.K. / Frenchkiss Records U.S.) does all of that, and in a good way. You never really spend time trying to pin down the sound of a band you don’t enjoy and after several listens I’m vouching for their originality. However, if you are wondering which bands I looked into for comparisons, the two most analogous groups would have to be Grizzly Bear and Bon Iver, two powerhouses anyone would be pleased to share the spotlight with.
This album has a way of projecting itself as an upbeat record whilst remaining very mellow. That is to say, many of the individual songs sound quite lively and only once you are finished listening to the whole thing do you realize how relaxed you’ve actually become. I do have to say that I was a lot more excited about this album than I should have been, while their sound has definitely matured since their debut release “Gorilla Manor” in 2009, it has also mellowed out a little too much. Where is the young exciting energy that came along with their debut? Likely under a fake turkish rug holding up a drum-kit in a studio somewhere in the Northern hemisphere (maybe NYC), waiting do be rediscovered the next time they enter a studio.
If you are starting the weekend do a throwback and play Gorilla Manor, but come the hungover-Monday-morning, Hummingbird should be your go-to. It’s worth noting that they are currently touring like beasts across the globe, so if you are interested there are no excuses, get out there and support your venue and live music!