Album Review | INDIE ROCK

Local Natives, ‘Hummingbird’

One of the more hypnotic qualities of Local Natives’ 2009 debut, “Gorilla Manor,” was the notion that you could sing along to the songs. You were supposed to. As loud as you could. The choruses were resplendent with male harmonies that begged for your own. On the Los Angeles band’s sophomore album, “Hummingbird,” the focus is less on communal joy and more about a newfound refinement and sophistication. Produced by Aaron Dessner of the National, the Brooklyn, N.Y., indie rockers who once took Local Natives on the road as the opening act, the album feels like a pronouncement, as if to highlight how much the quartet has grown since its last outing. “Ceilings” twinkles with an underlying melancholy, sounding both gorgeous and mournful; a slow build on “Colombia” brings the album to an emotional climax. It’s the ultimate proof that this is a much more introspective record, with moments so bleak, it’s a tossup between which is more devastating, the vocals or the melodies. (Out now) - JAMES REED

James Reed

ESSENTIAL “Colombia”

Local Natives play the House of Blues on
March 30.