There are plenty of indicators to judge a band’s level of success, but none so definitive as finding their new album in your parents stereo. Local Natives have been an underground darling since the release of ‘Gorilla Manor’ in 2010, but with the release of ‘Hummingbird’ they’re signaling they’re ready for the next stage.
Delicately lush in their approach, the music is often reflective and what you might describe as an NPR listener’s dream come true. ‘Hummingbird’ isn’t so different from the band’s previous effort, which could have easily broken generational barriers as well, but now with a solid foundation beneath them, the new songs can build on existing rhythmic tendencies to explore new territories. “Breakers” may have been the lead single, but “Heavy Feet” appears to be the collection’s highlight. Explosive in the chorus, the track still never overstays its welcome, leaving plenty of subtleties to enjoy on continuous repeat. While not many tracks start upbeat like “Breakers,” most get there at some point helping the album from ever fall into a state of elevator music. Though I wouldn’t mind riding an elevator playing some Local Natives. “Black Balloons” hops along nicely before leading into “Wooly Mammoth,” an equally as engaging track.
Much like Delta Spirit’s newest self titled album that gained them newfound notoriety, Local Natives have put forth an album full of good music. Music that should be liked as much by early fans as the new ones. Cries of abandoning a fan base are, well, baseless. ‘Hummingbird’ is diverse enough to satisfy an eclectic’s heart while cohesive enough to fit together like a pieces of a puzzle. For most people this album will be the best 2013 has to offer, for most it be a solid addition.