In 2009, Silver Lake’s Local Natives blew people away with Gorilla Manor, a powerful record that managed to mix indie-loss with today’s popular alt-folk collective sound. Thankfully, follow-up Hummingbird more than lives up to its predecessor.
From the first strains of opener “You & I”, Local Natives lay on the loss that pervades Hummingbird. A lot of acts do loss, but Local Natives do it powerfully throughout their new album. There are distant and enchanting pieces like “You & I”, the more natural “Ceilings”, and choral & stripped “Three Months”. But there are also numbers that build into something bigger, such as expansive “Black Spot”, empty hall-filling “Wooly Mammoth”, and stripped-to-big closer “Bowery”. Then there are ones where they mix from quiet and loud, in “Breakers” or the darker “Mt. Washington”.
In look and in live performances (QRO live review), Local Natives come off as more of an alt-folk collective, ironic mustaches and switching up instruments. But their recorded sound is much more than just that, as it delivers indie-tragedy with the best of them as well.