By Tara Schoenborn
Local Natives shed some of their youthfulness on their second album, ‘Hummingbird,’ for better or for worse.
Indie rock band Local Natives released its sophomore album, Hummingbird, Jan. 29. To be completely honest, the band’s second attempt at making a name in the music world is largely the same as its first. However, this has its positives and negatives.
There are some differences, and they’re largely for the better. In Hummingbird, the band eliminated much of the youthful sound and disorganization of songs from Gorilla Manor, its first effort. Many of the songs from Hummingbird are richer, layered, and have more depth, which gives the band a more established, competitive sound.
For example, the band members have learned sometimes a restrained, softer sound is better than throwing around three-part harmonies like it’s going out of style. This makes the band appear a lot more musically talented. This is demonstrated specifically in songs like “Mt. Washington,” which has just one person singing instead of all the band members chiming in with backup vocals. This type of slower, more somber song would not have appeared on Gorilla Manor because, two years ago, the band did not have the musical ability to produce a slow song successfully.
But though Hummingbird does prove Local Natives has a true sound and some talent, the album does not differ much from the previous one and is largely unoriginal. For example, though it contains a few slower songs that vary from the typical rock/baroque mix, many of the songs sound the same just with a slightly darker tone. The band recently began to experiment with some different synth noises, while still trying to keep the fun, playful drum beats and guitar riffs from its first album. However, it seems that the band’s main goal is to establish its sound, not experiment. Even when it did experiment, Local Natives lacked some of the energy it had in Gorilla Manor.
Having said this, the band did create a solid second release that is thoughtful and establishes its place in the music world. Only time will tell if this is enough to give Local Natives a one up in the music world or if the band’s experimentation will lead to disaster.