Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 02:02
Local Natives’ second album, Hummingbird, following up the 2010 indie hit Gorilla Manor, tones down the catchiness and amps up the unexpected layering of influences and sounds for a slightly darker and more mature set.
Hummingbird opens with gentle ambient tones quickly leading into surf rock style guitar, percussion reminiscent of the 1980s, and singer Taylor Rice crooning, “You and I, we were always strong,” a perfect beginning to an album that highlights just how much potential Local Natives has.
The atmosphere of Hummingbird is calmer than the collective energy of Gorilla Manor, with subdued hints of melancholy emerging as the album slows down a bit on tracks like “Mt. Washington” and the quiet “Colombia,” with the same super personal, yet universally relatable lyrics that helped make the band’s first album shine.
Aaron Dessner from The National joined Local Natives on Hummingbird and also helped produce the album. It might be his influence emerging in just how little like a performance, and how much like an internal emotional purging the album feels, constantly questioning, “Am I giving enough? … Am I loving enough?”
For all of its depth, Hummingbird never sinks into cliché or melodrama, and the band keeps the music engaging and innovative throughout, establishing Local Natives as much more than just a one-album indie wonder.