Local Natives: Sunlit Youth (Loma Vista) Reiew | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Local Natives

Sunlit Youth

Loma Vista

Sep 09, 2016 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Local Natives have, whether through intentional effort or not, established themselves as the go-to band of inoffensive but charming West Coast indie rock. With a debut that shone with the wide-eyed excitement of a band experiencing first album praise and a touring lifestyle, to a polar opposite sophomore effort that dealt with loss and heartbreak, Local Natives are a band unafraid to let you know exactly what they are feeling. After a brief year-long period of radio silence, Sunlit Youth is the LA quintet’s attempt to find out what is next. Not an unfamiliar concept for a third album, this takes the form of self-contemplationtrying to make sense of the emotional peaks and troughs of their back catalogue.

Sunlit Youth is an amalgamation of the musical styles that Local Natives have thus far become proficient in. The chirpy, animated nature of debut Gorilla Manor has been shoved in a melting pot with the far more melancholic contents of Hummingbird, the final product becoming a perfectly listenable but never exceptional hybrid of the two. “Fountains of Youth,” for example, takes the naively confident anthemia of their early work and uses techniques learnt later to give an added emotional depth that never quite cuts to the core. Its themes of self-determination reoccur across the record, notable on lead single and highlight “Past Lives.” It is seemingly the album’s raison d’être, but despite its arresting vibrancy it fails to capture the imagination as we know the band can. This lack of immediacy is representative of Sunlit Youth as a whole; it feels overproduced, like some of the essence of what has defined this band for two albums has been polished away. In its place is a more palatable but distinctly less exciting listen. (www.thelocalnatives.com)

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The Batman
September 10th 2016

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