Hummingbird (Deluxe Version)
Southern California indie darlings Local Natives deviate here from the comparatively unrestrained attack of their 2010 debut, Gorilla Manor. With help from co-songwriter and producer Aaron Dessner (who also plays guitar in The National), the primal rhythms and '80s post-punk angularity of their preceding recordings are noticeably absent. “You & I” sets an exhilarating mood with wispy washes of guitar reverb, emotional piano parts, and pillowy bass thrums (which resonate in contrast to the pointedly plucked strings of their former bassist Andy Hamm, who left in 2011). “Heavy Feet” follows, with more intricate drum patterns and handclaps playing under dramatic keyboard lines and soaring vocals that have more in common with Grizzly Bear and Beach House. The handsome single “Ceilings” gets feathered out with a sonic shimmer that well displays Kelcey Ayer’s vocal versatility. Here he effortlessly segues from throaty croons to gossamer falsettos, à la Jeff Buckley. “Breakers” is another standout that’s washed in the warm oceanic swells of West Coast tones and harmonies. Hummingbird's deluxe version has three arresting bonus songs.