Gorilla Manor

Gorilla Manor

“Gorilla Manor” is the nickname given to the SoCal dwelling where most of the members of Local Natives once lived, and one imagines the name is apt and the good times were many. The California band’s debut pays homage to those good old days and the music it inspired, with sunny, Afrobeat-tinged pop songs that flitter and swirl and bubble. Bridging the lofty pop thrill of Fleet Foxes and the airy, carefree party-vibe of Vampire Weekend, Local Natives have found the sweet spot: three-part harmonies reach for the sky while pianos and glinting guitars dance and swagger, and the graceful strings on several songs are never relegated to token status. “Sun Hands” skips along until it turns dark, a chorus of voices sputtering the adamant chorus line just before guitars shred the peace, and the dreamy, mandolin-inflected “Airplanes” is a delightful ode to an unknown grandparent; it’s charming and sentimental, but in a good way. Covering the Talking Heads is a daring move, but their percussion-heavy treatment of “Warning Sign” is wonderfully bold, using the basic bones of the song but dressing it up with the Natives’ own indigenous sound.

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