Another album I had been meaning to check out for the past several months was Local Natives. I just kept seeing them in the “if you like this artist , try” and “recommended” portions of iTunes. So I finally checked them out, and i LOVE their album “Gorilla Manor” and the group itself.
Here’s the thing, they do share some similarities with groups like Vampire Weekend, Temper Trap, Grizzly Bear etc. They totally fit into that indie/organic/live group, but in so many ways they are at a higher level than them all. I’ve been listening to the album for about a month now, and I think I figured out what makes them stand out more so than the aforementioned groups. It’s that their sound is a perfectly blended mix of, well Everything. They are primarily Alternative, but they mix in R&B and Rock and Pop and Folk so effortlessly you don’t even catch it sometimes. The production and their instrumentation are really flawless, they obviously know what they are doing because nothing ever sounds forced or the opposite it’s not lacking anything. Another great thing is their lead singer who isn’t afraid to stretch his voice. It’s whiney at times (which seems to be the favored vocal style in a lot of indie groups, I have NO idea why– it gets annoying), but in appropriate spots. However as the music switches genres effortlessly, so does the lead singer. I mean he’s straight up Belting on the stellar single “Airplanes”, and he can get softer with slower heartfelt ballads as well as getting that rocker roughness on the uptempo numbers. And finally, unlike alot of other indie groups, their songs actually seem to be talking about something. Not just random words strung together that sound good within the melody (which also they excel at creating great melodies and great hooks to their songs).
This debut is really impressive, and I hope to hear lots from this group in the future. They really seem to know their way around their instruments and the studio. They also seem to have a great grasp of music knowledge, being able to so effortlessly blend genres, and if this is just their first time at bat, I can’t wait to see what they’ll come up with on later albums.