The Local Natives :: "Stranger Things"

A little more than a month ago, we wrote up Local Natives. At least one person hated it. But our sense is, most people are digging in on this band. They're LA's newest crunchy, meditative piano-pop. While the band declined to comment on their label situation ("It's too soon to tell"), it's quite clear there are interested parties from some of the biggest indies. Personally, Saddle Creek would be an obvious home but the math seems to be pointing to XL. Give us three to six months and see if we're right. Until then, the band soldiers on as a truly independent group.

Their latest offering is the sublime "Stranger Things." The Rogue Wave comparisons come easily (the drum-beat, a cousin of the "Michigan" beat that broke me in half during the latter part of 2007). You can even find some Foreign Born in the vocals and some Jump, Little Children (we're talking 1999) in the strings. But the best part is the last part; a grand second movement, built as much to destroy as to construct.

Three minutes in, the song grinds to a halt, reconsiders itself - the group vocals, the claps, the sweeping chorus - and says, "Me? I'm holding out for something better." A piano plaintively lays the structure for the next few steps. A lazy guitar adds itself into the mix - the vocals, as polite as an invitation to dinner, are equal parts pure and broken. Even though we're jagging away from the original arrangement, nothing feels disjointed. A new, still sweeping, melody emerges and it's bigger than the first. "Stranger Things" tumbles to the finish, leaving only a lonely violin to make up the difference at the end. It's a somber end to a somber song. Appropriate, I suppose. And certainly the best thing for an April morning. Stranger things have happened.

Listen :: Local Natives - "Stranger Things"

No comments: