April 02, 2013

Reviewed: Local Natives

House Of Blues, Boston, MA

Growing up and developing a broad music taste when I did, Local Natives' debut album, Gorilla Manor, was one of the first indie albums I loved. It had a fixed spot in my car's CD rotation and was probably the album I listened to most during my last year in high school. My fanhood peaked and I saw them live for the first rocking the 2011 Sasquatch main stage. Sadly, three years and hundreds of music discoveries later, the SoCal group that I was so fond of rarely entered my thoughts. In January, when they released their sophomore effort, Hummingbird, the memories of jamming out to "Airplanes" in my car flooded back. They had created a second record that fulfilled the elusive goal of expanding upon their sound while maintaining all the qualities that made them great in the first place. Hummingbird is no doubt more atmospheric and less rollicking, but just as catchy, harmony-laden, and sunny. 

The other night, I went over to House of Blues to see them perform their new tracks in front of a quickly sold out crowd (the biggest on their tour). Luckily for me, they split the night evenly between their two records, playing every song I had so wanted to hear with the lone exception of "Camera Talk." In a live setting, the tracks on Hummingbird were much louder and tighter than I was expecting, almost allowing me to forget which album they were on. Between the spastic moves of guitarist/singer Taylor Rice and the unassuming but powerful presence of keyboardist/singer Kelcey Ayer, the Natives were in fine form. Ending the show with the powerful "Sun Hands" was the perfect move, leaving the crowd jumping with their hands in the air, hoping to catch some of the bands warming rays. 

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