The opening notes of Wide Eyes, the first cut from Gorilla Manor, told me that I was home. Beautiful shimmery guitars, a deep meandering keyboard line, New Order style bass...everything fit together comfortably. When the vocals came in, the voices melded so seamlessly smooth, it was like honey. In that moment, Local Natives claimed a strong place in my musical rotation. Gorilla Manor is planned for release in February 2010, but their music is already making the rounds online at YouTube, LastFm, and Pitchfork.
Local Natives have a rich complex sound. They start with prog rock elements, tied to Massive Attack style bottom end and tight vocal harmonies. They sound like a grown up Trip Shakespeare crossed with a bit of Ryan Adams. The album is full of great songs, but the first single, Sun Hands, is the best. It starts out with a blues influenced guitar riff, but the layers build. The song rolls through several sections, building a tribal complexity that culminates in a psychedelic guitarfest before reprising the main groove again.
These two songs are not just lucky shots -- the rest of the material is strong, too: Airplanes, Camera Talk, and their cover of the Talking Heads' Warning Sign. This is a band to follow. After their success this year at SXSW, they're planning a spring tour to back the release of Gorilla Manor. Give them a listen, they're cognac smooth (a little Remy Martin Extra would be in order).