Local Natives

Hummingbird (Frenchkiss)

SXSW 2013 Records

Local Natives

Hummingbird (Frenchkiss)

Effervescent pop from Local Natives' 2010 debut Gorilla Manor scored raves, so in avoiding the sophomore slump, these harmonic L.A. rockers grew through the pain – bassist Andy Hamm departed, angel-voiced keyboardist Kelcey Ayer's mom died – to evince pleasure. Produced in New York by Aaron Dessner (of the National), Hummingbird's layers complement its psychic search. On opener "You & I," Ayer warbles, "In all the light, all I feel is dark/Had the sun without its warmth," and those extremes define the disc through heartbreak closer "Bowery," which offers, "I remember the sunrise without sleep." The quartet gets tremendous mileage out of drummer Matt Frazier on the danceable "Breakers" and charging "Woolly Mammoth." Celebrated for its relative strength, the tiny hummingbird proves a powerful totem for Natives on a journey. (1am, Mohawk Outdoor)

***.5

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