A Sophisticated New Release
Despite being around since 2005, the Los Angeles based band Local Natives has only released a handful of albums. They took their time between releasing records. Their first album, the critically acclaimed, Gorilla Manor from 2009, was followed up by the somewhat underwhelming Hummingbird in 2013. The third record, Sunlit Youth, shows how the band has restored their sound and their credibility once again in the Indie Pop world.
While there may be some songs that are similar to a lot of their earlier work, this album packs multiple genres into one record. They effortlessly alternate between several varieties of music. Whether it is electro-pop, rock, afropop or the occasional dash of soul, Sunlit Youth not only covers multiple genres, but does it with earnestness and nostalgia.
The record opens with the dreamy pop song “Villainy” where Taylor Rice’s vocals are drenched in synth while the rest of the band hypnotically harmonizes. The songs “Masters” and “Jellyfish” explore the electronica side, while “Fountain of Youth” and “Psycho Lovers” revert back to the pop rock that Local Natives fans most identify as their signature sound. The record ends with “Sea of Years” a haunting song reminiscent of earlier Local Natives with big drum choruses and hints of psychedelic.
Local Natives are progressing in a direction that every fan dreamt of. While some bands have a tendency to lose some of their vitality, they continue to create music that entrances their listeners. They retained the sound of their uncontrollable guitars and drums without giving way to sounding pretentious. This third record, Sunlit Youth sees a much more mature Local Natives curating a sound that is not dissimilar from their other two albums, but is distinctive in its way of lyrics and performance. They have grown since their last record and this latest release proves that the band will continue to head into the right direction.