L.A. indie rockers, Local Natives released their sophomore album Hummingbird at the end of January. While their debut, Gorilla Manor, was filled with songs full of boisterous vocals and upbeat tempos, Hummingbird is much more subtle, but no less distinctive.
While the songs on Gorilla Manor were full of loud claps, crashing symbols, and lyrics that seemed to rejoice life, the band has refined their sound and produced an album fuelled by emotion that doesn’t fail to impress musically. Both ‘Heavy Feet’ and ‘Breakers’ have upbeat, melodic tempos, making them both obvious hits. While the best songs are those that are more subdued, like ‘Columbia’ and ‘Mt. Washington’.
The album opens with ‘You & I’, where Rice’s powerful cry immediately draws you in. The vocals remain strong throughout the album, alternating between soft croons and thunderous laments. Each song is as lyrically impressive as the last, including such lines as “Every night I ask myself / Am I loving enough”, “When did your love grow cold?”, and “After everything left in the sun shimmering”.
Hummingbird successfully avoided the sophomore slump that plagues bands, and gives fans and critics a sense that the band has much potential to expand and grow creatively.