Band talks "personal, direct album" at KCRW concert
The Local Natives performed eight of the 11 songs from their upcoming second album "Hummingbirds" at a Dec. 13 private concert for Santa Monica radio station KCRW that will be broadcast Jan. 11 on the Morning Becomes Eclectic show. The album comes out Jan. 29 on Frenchkiss Records.
"Breakers," the first released track from the album was among the eight tunes, most of which fit a dreamy pop pattern with double lead vocals, three-part harmonies and the occasional blast of rhythmic intensity. Though based in the Silver Lake section of Los Angeles, the album was recorded in the Brooklyn studio of the National's Aaron Dessner, who co-produced the album.
"The first record ('Gorilla Manor') we wrote playing live," drummer Matt Frazier told KCRW's Jason Bentley during an interview section of the show staged at Apogee Studios. "There was more spontaneity. He'd press record and I didn't know what I supposed to be playing."
Guitarist-singer Taylor Rice explained the songwriting process as beginning with a germ of an idea being supplied by one band member and then everyone adding parts. Some songs took as long as three months to reach completion. They spent a year writing in Los Angeles before going to New York to record.
"We collaborate to an almost non-functioning fault," he said. The result on "Hummingbird," he added, is "a very personal, direct album." Kelcey Ayer, the co-lead singer who plays guitars and keyboards, finds the record more sparse-sounding than the debut; "peeling back a guitar -- that was a challenge to us."
Local Natives are a shining example of a band achieving success through the infrastructure of a local scene. Together for more than four years, they made the presence known among the early adapters through a residency at the Spaceland (now Satellite) club in Silver Lake, which led to success in the U.K., opening shows for the National and eventually playing the 2,400-seat Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic backing them.
During the first week of release, Local Natives have sold out shows in Los Angeles, Oakland, Brooklyn and New York before heading to Europe for 20-plus dates and return to North America for a run of shows between March 15 in Houston and April 27 in Vancouver, B.C. The band said that's just the start and new dates are being added.