Local Natives are an indie rock band that hails from the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles, California. They have released 3 studio albums since 2009. What distinguishes the band's sound from other indie rock artists is their frequent featuring of very complex percussion patterns. They split the vocals between guitarists Taylor Rice and Ryan Hahn and multi-instrumentalist Kelcey Ayer. Bright ringing guitars and three part harmony vocals are also major elements in the band's sound.Their often dream-like tunes are carefully arranged and executed. Here are ten of the best known and best loved songs by Local Natives.
10. "Dark Days"
From their 2016 album Sunlit Youth, this is a bright mid-tempo tune with lots of answering harmony vocals and instrumental hooks. Guest vocalist Nina Persson of The Cardigans is featured on one of the verses.
9. "Past Lives"
This track was a single release from the Sunlit Youth album. It starts out dreamy and atmospheric, then the guitar crunch and busy percussion kicks in and the tempo increases. The tune transforms into a driving rocker with impassioned vocals.
8. "You & I"
A track from the 2013 album Hummingbird, this tune features a great deal of two-part harmony at points, as well as a lead vocal that is delivered with a voice quality very reminiscent of '70s classic rock icon Boz Scaggs.
Bluesy guitar and vocal on this track from the Sunlit Youth album. The blues and jazz feel is just one of the weapons in the arsenal of this band. Also, a percussion breakdown adds color here.
Dreamy and haunting, this tune is also rhythmic and features the band's signature percussive elements. From the Gorilla Manor collection, the track includes a fair amount of arrangement and high production values. There is a lot going on here but it comes together seamlessly.
This is another track from the Local Natives debut Gorilla Manor from 2010. Lots of harmony vocals and a bright poppy melody line on this one. Also a busy almost martial drum beat propels the tune. The band shares songwriting credits with all members except in the rare cases of a cover song.
A single released before the album Hummingbird on which it was also included, this track is made up of bright guitars, lots of percussion and harmony vocals throughout. As a single, it reached number 12 on the charts. Very indie and powerful.
Atmospheric and quite beautiful, this track is from the 2013 Hummingbird collection. It is both bright and dreamy and celebrates the joys of summer and wishing it wouldn't have to end.
2. "Wide Eyes"
This is the opening track from the Gorilla Manor album. A guitar weave and fuzz bass are fitted around a driving drum figure. Tight vocal harmony and various breakdowns are also featured. This is both indie and slick. The quirky official video features a memorable shark character that lightens the mood.
A track from the Hummingbird album, this song was also featured on the video game Life Is Strange soundtrack. It is signature Local Natives with its haunting, dreamlike vibe. The band's frequent addition of a busy percussion element is also present here. The vocal is plaintive and affecting. One of the group's strong tunes for sure.