By Maria Perez
No, Local Natives did not come out with a new album this week or even this month... Sunlit Youth debuted back in September 2016.
I find myself writing an album review 4 months later because even after 4 months of it on repeat and a live show attendance, I still am not sick of it. I still look forward to when a song from the album comes up on my shuffle, because yes, I still use an iPod.
I first heard of Local Natives back in 2011 with Who Knows Who Cares on Gorilla Manor (2009), my introduction to Indie Rock. At the time Rihanna's Loud (2010) was the album on repeat. (Hey, everyone has a range in taste)
I never really thought about how I got into Indie Rock until I decided to write this and looked backed to see what grabbed my attention, and it was Local Natives; it also helped that my boyfriend at the time was your classic Indie Music enthusiast, had to keep up.
Oh, you didn't realize this was my coming of age story? Sorry, back to Local Natives.
Their highly anticipated album, Hummingbird, came out in 2013 and I thought it was a total crash and burn. Their upbeat riffs, fast paced drums and positive tone that I loved from Gorilla Manor were almost completely scrapped, and to me, that was their signature.
Hummingbird sounded solemn, dark and at times with a hypnotizing drone, but not the good kind. The single, Breakers, seemed to be the only song that got some traction and mostly due to it being the only song that had some of the classic Local Natives sound people originally fell in love with.
To be honest, this album made me lose interest in following Local Natives entirely and when Sunlit Youth came out, I didn't even realize until a few weeks after the release.
I won't say Sunlit Youth brings me back to the time I fell in love with Gorilla Manor or my life in 2011. It brought back my love for the small indie band that introduced me to the genre I currently call my favorite.
This album feels current, fresh and filled with identity.
The all around vibe of this album is positive, energetic, creative and plain fun. Aside from feeling much more well produced, Local Natives seem to have revived their all-around sound with Sunlit Youth. More upbeat rhythms, more melodies, and more passionate growth is how this albums' story plays out from Track 1 to 12, making you want to dance and sing along the entire time.
The writing also feels to have taken a more impactful route especially with the song, Fountain of Youth, as they quite clearly show their stance from the 2016 Presidential Race with, "I have waited so long Mrs. President" -- because sometimes metaphors don't do enough justice.
Gorilla Manor felt like Local Natives was just getting started, Hummingbird, to me, felt like someone going through a break-up or a tough time, but Sunlit Youth feels like a new consistent identity that I can't wait to see how it continues to progress. --
Okay, so maybe this was a coming of age story, but from a band who started innocently great, went through their weird/sad stage and ended up finding themselves through new sunlight.
Listen to my personal favorite from the album, Dark Days.