Local Natives at the Fox, Tues Sept 28
Local Natives make soaring, sky-scraping harmonies, dreamy orchestral melodies, and throbbing tribal beats that bash their way into your soul. Theirs are songs you can dance to almost as well as you can swoon to them. Drawing a line from the vocal stylings of Crosby Stills Nash & Young and the Zombies through the more esoteric edges of post-punk and Afro-beat, this California five piece have communally crafted a brand of indie rock all their own. The band’s sound has been described as “afropop-influenced guitars with hyperactive drumming and hooky three-part harmonies”.
For Local Natives everything is a collaboration, from song writing duties to the band’s self produced artwork. The three part harmonies come courtesy of keyboardist Kelcey Ayer, guitarists Ryan Hahn and Taylor Rice. Then there’s Matt Frazier on drums and Andy Hamm on bass, who look after the band’s equally impressive graphics and artwork. One of SXSW 2009’s biggest success stories, the band drove for two days to get from Los Angeles to Austin in order to play nine spectacular shows that saw them sprinting, instruments in hand, from one gig to the next. Their hectic schedule paid off as Local Natives left Austin with the attention of the UK music Industry.
Based in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles, three of the five-piece originally hail from Orange County. Kelcey, Ryan and Taylor attended neighbouring high schools and hooked up with bassist Andy a year after they graduated, later meeting drummer Matt. They’ve been playing – and evolving - together for three years. Last year, however, the band realized that the new songs they were writing were the sounds of a new project entirely. Their debut album as Local Natives, “Gorilla Manor”, was released in the UK on Nov 2nd, 2009, and saw a US release date of Feb. 16th, 2010.I nitial reviews of Local Natives have drawn favourable comparisons to Arcade Fire, Fleet Foxes and Vampire Weekend.
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