Local Natives play Solar Culture on Tuesday
Catch this Silver Lake quintet before they explode
The Local Natives' debut album "Gorilla Manor" (Frenchkiss Records) is in most music snobs' highest rotation lately, and tonight, the band will grace the smallest, best-sounding venue they are likely to encounter for a very long time.
The quintet, formed in 2008 in Orange County, soon took up residence together in Los Angeles' Silver Lake neighborhood. The band is, in all ways, a collective, taking a collaborative approach to everything about their music, from its composition to the cover art.
The record garnered an impressive 8.4 on the notoriously low-curved Pitchfork scale, and was a Billboard Heatseeker upon its debut in February. Upcoming concerts on the East Coast are sold out at venues considerably larger than Solar Culture, where they are scheduled to play with fellow Silver Lake denizens Pepper Rabbit Tuesday at 9 p.m.
"Gorilla Manor" was recorded in 2008, and has some sounds and sensibilities in common with that year's best surprise, the Fleet Foxes, whose soaring harmonies and lush layering of sounds are present here. The album also suggests 2009's big hit, Grizzly Bear's "Veckatimest."
There is, too, something more raw and driving about this record, fueled largely by the sound of many hands clapping — that is to say, polyphonic hand percussion, which undoes the neatness of the pretty vocals and releases something a little more raw, and more compelling. Something more like early Talking Heads, or like an Afropop tragic opera, if such a thing were possible.
The band's live performances, like the one at South by Southwest in 2009 that started the buzz, have been compared to legendary live band Arcade Fire.