Local Natives are one of the 2,000 bands who tried to takeover SXSW this week. Let's look at the pro and cons.
Cons: There are 2,000 bands there. 400 of them are probably tour-tough and pretty good. 200 of them probably employ full-time publicity staff in some capacity. 25 of them are already signed to major labels and another 100-150 are already signed to "major indies." Your odds of "breaking" in this environment are simply not very good. Also, on the label front, everyone is cash-strapped and panicked. And, even if you are ready to break, there are probably three and maybe five other bands with equally good records and good buzz. I'm not a mathematician but if you carry all those ones, your odds of smashing this festival and grabbing the cash are ... slim.
Pros: We've heard XL Records is looking at this band pretty hard. Which, barring all the negative math above, can break your name pretty quickly. It also helps if your songs are strong (yes) and if your publicity machine is working harder than everyone else (Daytrotter session, blog features, etc.). It also helps if you sound like you could turn into Rogue Wave.
So, what's the verdict? Enjoy "World News" and "Airplanes" and you tell me. Despite what we think of the landscape, the days of bands toiling in brilliant obscurity are over. As a major A&R recently put it to me: if the music is good, people will find it quickly. Indie kids, consider your world officially shattered. Local Natives, consider yourselves officially broken.
Listen :: Local Natives - "Airplanes"
Bonus :: Local Natives - "World News"