Los Angeles’ Local Natives released their sophomore album, Hummingbird, on Frenchkiss Records/Infectious Music on January 29th, 2013 (out in Europe January 28th).
Much has happened between the band’s critically-acclaimed, Best New Music debut album, Gorilla Manor, and the release of Hummingbird. From rave reviews to brilliant television performances, Gorilla Manor launched the band onto the global stage, saw them headlining theaters throughout America and Europe, opening for bands like Arcade Fire and The National, winning them lauded slots at major festivals around the world, and selling over 100,000 albums in the U.S. alone.
Upon their return home from the road, the band built out a rehearsal space/studio in an abandoned bungalow in Silverlake, allowing them to try writing in different ways, and freeing them up to work extensively on tones and arrangements. This ultimately led to their experimenting with new instruments and sounds, bringing a broader musical palette to the table, and challenging them to grow from the comfort space of their established aesthetic.
The band says Hummingbird was created from the emotional framework of being stretched between two opposite poles. In the two years following Gorilla Manor’s release, the band saw the highest highs and the lowest lows they had ever experienced together; while their wildest musical dreams were coming to fruition, personal relationships faltered or fell apart, and a close family member suddenly passed away. As such, the songs on Hummingbird embody that similar dichotomy – they are fragile and powerful, opulent and spare, tense and poised.
When it came time to properly set these songs to tape, the band did their initial tracking in Montreal, and then decamped to Brooklyn, enlisting as co-producer The National’s Aaron Dessner, who they had recently befriended while touring together. It was the first time they had ever recorded outside their native California, and relocating became the physical manifestation of working beyond what was familiar for them. Indeed, Hummingbird is all the better for it.