Wednesday, March 17, 2010

and even if the morning never comes/ my hands are blessed to have touched the sun

Sorry for the absence! I was on a much needed road trip to the warmer climes this nation has to offer, and left technology by the wayside as I remembered how to breathe.

On to the music.

Three part harmony oozing with cheeky lyrics over some popping guitar and cymbals seems to pull me in when done with great reserves of talent. But in the past few years the indie pop movement has become inundated with some unfortunately forgettable bands attempting to replicate the sounds of Grizzly Bear, Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes, Beach House, and other groups of that ilk. It should be noted that it requires some real skill and musical chops to push through the hyped up harmonic and jangly chaos and make great, original music. I'm often skeptical when I first hear that big explosion of shiny reverb laden vocals from a new group.

But guess what? Add another band to the aforementioned list of innovative stand outs to pull me into their orbit, because Local Natives has waded successfully through the possible mess of cliche hooks and faux-intellectual versing and chorusing.

This Southern California band caught my ear recently while I was lamenting my lack of presence at the fabulous riot of musical talent that is SXSW. (Their performance at last year's SXSW led to being signed to Frenchkiss [The Dodos, Freelance Whales, The Antlers, Passion Pit] and a bevy of glowing praise). Their debut release, Gorilla Manor, accompanied me on a sunny hike up Mt. Sanitas this morning, and it was a perfect fit. Their music evokes winding roads through dappled light on the Big Sur coastline and crashing turquoise waves.

Just the right level of oohing to float over pulsing kick drums, with frolicking melodies ringing in tandem with unhurried lyrics; Local Natives have released a gem of an album. I heartily recommend you check out the whole thing, and catching them live (as I plan to do on their extensive tour).

Also I am in full support of their cover decisions. As shown below.

Warning Sign (Talking Heads)- Local Natives

Sun Hands- Local Natives

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