The Voice

The Voice

The Voice

This Is: Local Natives
(Courtesy of


This is simply a breakdown of one of indie’s best bands, Local Natives, and their work over the years. On September 9, this Californian quintet released their third album, “Sunlit Youth,” and boy did it mess me up.

These guys had the audacity to wait three years to release this. Three years. That is highly unacceptable. January 13, 2013, was when “Hummingbird” was released and they went MIA for a few years. It was worth the wait, but the wait was long and treacherous.

Anyways, in celebration of their album being here, I wanted to do a breakdown of their music journey. With three albums and 14 singles, these guys have done quite a bit in the last 11 years.



This album is a flop. Coming out on February 16, 2010, in the U.S, this was the debut album of these harmonizing gods. Okay, I get it, that’s a little much, but four out of the five members began using their vocals to their best potential early on.

Every band has their own thing, that one physical or audio thing that resembles them. For Local Natives, it’s the harmonizing and their glorious rainy day sound. This album is the base and core of what every other album has come to be.

The main difference with “Gorilla Manor,” compared to the two later albums, is the folk-like tone. This is heard mainly in “Who Knows Who Cares.” If it was sped up, it could easily pass for a Lumineers or Mumford and Sons song.

In my opinion, this album definitely wasn’t their greatest. It’s like the bottom piece of bread in a sandwich. It varies with flavor or blandness, and the sole purpose is to be the building block on this creation. One of the best songs on the tracklist is one of their singles, “Wide Eyes.” It is a good transition to what was coming three years later.



“Gorilla Manor” was made for a rainy day, and “Hummingbird” was made to cry your eyes out. With singles, “Heavy Feet,” “Breakers,” and “You & I,”  before the full record was released, fans of these guys were already hot messes. “You & I” and “Heavy Feet” are the first two songs off the tracklist.

Both follow the similar mood of wanting to cry yourself to sleep and missing a partner you never had. “Breakers” is the song that made me fall in love with this band. It is the positivity every pessimist needs. It sounds like a happy tune, but deep down in the lyrics, it’s actually quite dark and filled with sorrow.

The beginning reminds me of a Los Angeles beach and the song carries itself pretty well. It’s a beautiful song, and the remainder of the album follows the same style. Do yourself a favor and YouTube any of “Hummingbird” live in concert. Their instrumentals have improved tremendously and overall, 2013 was a good year for music.



It is finally here! This fairy-like, youthful, part enchanted sounding masterpiece is everything. Every album surpasses the last by a great amount. “Sunlit Youth” has got to be their best album so far. Going back to that sandwich analogy, now that bottom half has ham, salami, and a special sauce. This one’s special.


Unlike the past two, their third album touches on social issues; a lot having to do with feminism and this younger generation. “Masters” is strictly on the topic of feminism and “Fountain of Youth” is on trusting my generation and those who are younger. They’re controversial topics and considered to be taboo, and having them addressed is amazing.


The title really speaks for itself. Album titles don’t always make sense or connect with the tracks, but this one is pretty self-explanatory. Out of all three, this album shows the most growth. They took their base and roots and evolved their sound into something spectacular.
10/10 would recommend “Sunlit Youth.” All three albums pull on your heartstrings, but this one’s nothing like any ordinary indie album. That sounds cliche, but it’s the truth. The only artist who can come decently close to them is Fleet Foxes.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Sarah Biernat, Author

Comments (0)

All The Voice Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *