Local Natives are set to release one of our most anticipated albums of 2010, Gorilla Manor, on February 16th. “Wide Eyes” opens the album and according to guitarist, Ryan Hahn, “It’s about people’s obsession with the miraculous and disastrous¦with witnessing extraordinary events.” There’s a great part at about 2:15 where the band breaks into percussion ala Paul Simon’s “The Obvious Child” and you expect the tune to explode. But they dial it back down with a noodly guitar lick and slowly build back up with harmonies before breaking into a closing jam a minute later. I have listened to that part about 100 times and it’s simply brilliant.
Local Natives also do a phenomenal interpretation of Talking Heads’ “Warning Sign.” “We’ve basically flipped the song on its head,” says drummer, Matt Frazier, explaining how they switched David Byrne’s original yelped vocals into a beautiful three-part harmony.‚ The mere fact that they chose that tune is awesome, but the way deconstructed it is inventive and original – not your average cover song.
“Cards and Quarters” is a slow, dreamy tune that moves at a snail’s pace as the harmonies wash over an ever so simple beat. This tune was the song that sold me last year at SxSW and the last minute is fantastic. I could go on about this stunning debut all day. While they were a pleasant surprise in ’09, I’d declare them one of the top new bands out there today. Couldn’t have happened to nicer group of guys.