I took a trip in the tympanogram way back machine to figure out just when I first heard the Silver Lake, California band’s wares. The result? March 2009, right when the blog was in its infancy. I listened to “Airplanes” more than any other song that year, and the track still finds its way onto mixes nearly four years after I first heard it.
Gorilla Manor, Local Natives’ debut, came out in early 2010, and while it lacked (for me), the same immediacy that “Airplanes” did, it was still a solid introduction of the quintet to a wider audience.
And now, some three years on after the release of Gorilla Manor, the band is primed to release their sophomore album, entitled Hummingbird, at the end of January. Down to a foursome, the band has endured their quick rise and the bends that come along with it. They released the first song from Hummingbird late in 2012, the alternately grand and fragile “Breakers,” which should be arriving at my house on 7” vinyl anytime now.
This morning the band unveiled a second track from the album on Soundcloud, and it’s got me all shook up to hear the whole album. Where “Breakers” is raw and upfront, “Heavy Feet” feels more understated on its face, before it eventually crescendos into its full glory.
That said, I’ll be interested in hearing what the band does with the rest of the album. Where Gorilla Manor often came off as playful, it’s clear Local Natives are a bit more forlorn on Hummingbird, at least judging from the two songs they’ve released early. So far that honest display of emotion has served them well, but over the course of forty minutes and eleven songs, a grim version of Local Natives might not sit as well.