Local Natives

Local Natives release new track, Past Lives

by Woody on April 29, 2016


On Wednesday, Local Natives put out some cryptic messages via their social media, including something that amounted to a blue screen. Logic seemed to dictate that new music was around the corner. Well today, Local Natives released their first new track in over three years with Past Lives. This post in 2009 seems like so long ago. Here’s what Taylor Rice had to say about it.

The world is not static, it’s made new over and over again. But we tend to live the same patterns in a loop, loving the same way, wrestling the same demons, the same dynamics playing out around us again and again. Untangling every moment and decision that led us to where we are now can make fate feel concrete, inescapable. But our world is not fixed, it’s constantly reemerging, and we can change it into whatever we want.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Local Natives are here


Local Natives – Hummingbird [album review]

by Woody on January 28, 2013


It seems like an eternity ago that Local Natives showed up to our SXSW party handing out fliers for their SXSW shows. Down in Austin with no album, no publicist and flying on the strength of a phenomenal Daytrotter session; they embodied the old SXSW spirit. 40 minutes of watching them at the San Jose was all I needed to know I had seen something special and a band that was going places. One year later, their set at the NPR party was the talk of SXSW.

Fast forward through the success of their debut and countless tours, Local Natives stood before the dreaded sophomore curse. I really feared for these guys. Enjoyed by so many, I feared that people would try to alter them for more radio play, money, etc. But there is something special about these guys. In the lead up to the release of Hummingbird, they are reaching out to websites that supported them early on, played a set at their local station KCRW and gushed about playing at renowned LA record store Amoeba Music. The cherry on top being that Aaron Dessner was handled the board on Hummingbird.

About a year ago, Local Natives were playing in Chicago with Wye Oak and The National. I was gushing over them to someone who had never heard of them. I rambled like a 15 y/o describing the cute girl in class – Their percussion is the driving force of the band but its subtle in some spots like you don’t even know you’re being pushed forward while in other areas you feel as if you are on a roller coaster. The guitars shimmy and dance over the percussion going up and down your spine. All the while, there are two to four piece harmonies that lift you up – I don’t know if that cleared it up for them but a few songs in, my friend leaned over and said, “Yep, they’re awesome.”

That formula is back with Hummingbird with some subtle changes and plenty of growth. The percussion is what stands out as Matt Frazier has really upped his game. It is still varied but more subtle, yet still the driving force behind the band. You & I is a brilliant opener and reminiscent of the opening track off the latest from The Walkmen and Fleet Foxes as it eases you into the album. Kelcey Ayer’s falsetto vocals bridge the gap between the gorgeous chorus. Later in the album Ayer delivers a highlight in homage to his recently departed mother with Columbia. His singing of “Am I giving enough?” are heartbreaking.

Taylor Rice handles the vocals for two of the more upbeat and rocking numbers with the lead track, Breakers and Wooly Mammoth. The opening of Breakers is brilliant with the soaring vocals. Ryan Hahn’s guitar work on this track, as with the rest of the album, is top notch.

As good as Gorilla Manor and Hummingbird are; I feel like we are only scratching the surface with Local Natives. When I think of them, I think of bands like The National and The Walkmen – bands that held on to their core principles, kept maturing & growing, and most importantly kept churning out fresh and amazing music. The sky is the limit for this band and I am excited for the ride.

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Local Natives – Hummingbird out on 1/29/13

by Woody on October 24, 2012

Speaking of the Local Natives, they have a new album coming out in January of 2013. Like anybody who enjoyed Gorilla Manor, HearYa has been anxiously awaiting the follow up to one of the best debuts in recent record.

I have a sneaking suspicion that they will be down at SXSW this year and that people will be selling their kidneys to get into to see them. Unfortunately for us we need them to process Lone Stars.

Take a listen to their first tune, Breakers, below, You can also check out three tunes over at Paste. Say hello to my first most-anticipated album of 2013; at least until the next most anticipated album gets announced.


Youd be hard-pressed to find a better touring duo this fall than the Local Natives and the Love Language. It was such a hotly anticipated show that we almost talked Oz into making a last minute flight from Atlanta. It didnt work out, so Shirk, SafariMan, and I made our way up to the Metro early to get a good spot on the floor just in time to catch a set from openers Union Line.

To say I was excited would be an understatement. I was in near-delirium mode, talking to SafariMan for at least 10 minutes before the show about Sixpence None the Richer, breaking the world record for the longest conversation about that band ever. Union Line played a real nice set – I’d expect that we’ll be hearing good things out of them in the future. I talked to them after the show and told them I was from a music blog called HearYa, which obviously they had never heard of (shocking, I know). I thought maybe I should be more specific, “dot com?” Nothing. Ahhh, the fruits of blogging. Nice guys, though.

After Union Line came the Love Language, and they did not disappoint. Stu McLamb, the force behind the band, walked on stage and said, “F*@ck sound checks” before getting right down to business and ripping through an energetic no-frills set, playing a nice mix off their first album as well as this years excellent release, Libraries. “Brittanys Back” was definitely a highlight of the set, with a little more grit and energy behind the opening riff. Other standouts were “Horophones”, “Providence” (always my favorite), “Graycourt” and the crowd-pleaser “Lalita”. About 4 songs into the set there was a palpable buzz in the room, and I could hear people around me asking, “Who are these guys again?” It was great to see them win over the crowd. Stus voice just seems to be getting better and better, his brother Jordans drumming has come a long way since making the permanent move behind the kit about a year ago, and the band works really well together on stage. Cant say enough good things about this band. Oh, and I topped off the night with an awkward conversation with Missy from the band that ended with me slowly backing away and mumbling. I’m awesome at that.

After the Love Language finished up, I certainly could have gone home happy. But the capacity crowd had primarily come for the Local Natives, and I was excited to see them for the first time since SXSW. They played a great set and the crowd was REALLY into it. There was an 8 foot tall hipster next to me that was literally screaming every lyric at the top of his lungs. I think he was on PCP. The Local Natives are a great band to see live, because you really get a feel for how talented each band member is. Kelcey Ayer and Ryan Hahn are both multi-instrumentalists, and Kelcey is especially fun to watch sing, play keys, guitar, and percussion. The guy is amazing , if you need more convincing watch him play both keys and percussion while also handling lead vocal duties on “Airplanes”.

Enjoy some samples below and be sure to check out our live session from a couple years ago with The Love Language.

Local Natives , Sun Hands

The Love Language , Heart To Tell

Love Language , Providence (from the HearYa Live Session)

The Union Line – Goldmine (from the lovely site Wake Up and Smell the Music)


Get Free Tickets to Local Natives @ Schubas 5/14, plus 7″! [Chicago Giveaway]

May 11, 2010

We have another giveaway for Chicago readers! Email us your name and address to freeshit@hearya.com to win a pair of tickets to see Local Natives at Schubas this Friday (5/14) at 10:30pm. There are two shows that night and this is the late show! The opener will be Frenchkiss label-mates, Suckers. As an added bonus, […]

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See Local Natives’ performance of Airplanes from Craig Ferguson

May 10, 2010

In case you missed it like me, here’s the Local Natives performance of “Airplanes” on a recent late night visit to Craig Ferguson. It’s impossible not to like this band. Tweet

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Listen to Local Natives’ Gorilla Manor right here [Pre-Mature Streaming]

February 12, 2010

It’s no secret that we love Local Natives. You can read our Gorilla Manor album review and they are one of the bands we’re most excited to catch at SxSW in Austin this March. But you can decide for yourself. They’ve offered us with a pre-release album stream to share with y’all and a new […]

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Local Natives – Gorilla Manor [Album Review]

February 4, 2010

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 […]

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Local Natives show us their Sun Hands [new mp3]

December 15, 2009

I can think of few albums I’m more excited to hear in 2010 than the debut from Local Natives. Gorilla Manor is due out on February 16th via Frenchkiss Records. The band just released “Sun Hands” as a free download and its a tasty blend of Fleet Foxes and The Dodos. It’s a phenomenal track. […]

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Local Natives sign to Frenchkiss Records, announce debut album.

December 4, 2009

We had the pleasure of meeting the guys from Local Natives down at SxSW last year. They couldn’t have been any nicer and we’re happy to announce that they are releasing their debut on Feb. 16 courtesy of Frenchkiss Records. Along with Chief’s debut, this is my most eagerly anticipated debut of 2010. Local Natives […]

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