#5- LOCAL NATIVES: "Hummingbird"
The first time I heard Local Natives was when they opened up for Arcade Fire on their 2011 North American Tour. When the tour dates were announced for the Arcade Fire "Suburbs" tour, I was saddened to see a list of familiar bands playing everywhere but Utah. I had "heard" good things about Local Natives, but still didn't know what to my expect. To my surprise... and immense pleasure... I was treated to one of the finer live performances that I've seen in the last decade. They had a tightness and intensity that I've seen in few bands. As I began following the music and artistry of these lads from L.A., I was shocked to see an extensive amount of buzz in all the music publications. Not only were they striking a chord with young Indie Rock fans around the world, but they were even invited to play a concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, an honor that is only extended to one Pop/Rock band a year (unless things have changed).
The release of "Hummingbird" seemed to be postponed endlessly, due to the exciting things happening in the band. The Arcade Fire tour and Disney show were only a couple of the things that took them from the recording studio and into the hearts of music lovers all over the world.
When this album finally did surface, early in 2013, my expectations were not only met, but exceeded. I think the thing that I REALLY like about this band is not necessarily the lyrics and melodies, but the hypnotic ambiance they create with the instrumentation...often hidden subtly in the background. Truth be told, it's bands like this that make it difficult for me to become a "lyric" person. I've been a lifelong lover of music, especially since discovering Cheap Trick's "In Color", back in 1978 or 1979. Since that time, I have inadvertently lost myself in the MUSIC, not the lyrics. It wasn't until the last few years of my life that I realized that I am in the minority. Most souls connect with lyrics and pay less attention to the lyrics. I'm completely opposite to that. Neither method of listening is right or wrong, but that was just how I looked at music. Usually when I find myself singing aloud to music, it is only because of what I subconsciously absorb while listening to the music behind.
And so it is with "Hummingbird"... I still don't have the slightest clue what is what with the lyrics of the album... so, instead you will find me gently nodding my head in the rhythm of the atmospheric ambiance of that hypnotic guitar in the background.
Here.... watch these and decide which person you are.... the lyric person... or the music person.
"You & I"
and for you dedicated observers...
"Live on KEXP..."