Every week we will be showcasing installments from a special artist discovery series for bands playing the Austin City Limits Music Festival this October from local websites hand-picked by the ACL Festival faithful. To kick it off, Austinist is featuring Local Natives.
L.A.-based Local Natives seem to have come from nowhere, but a little digging into the group’s past proves that they’ve been paying dues for quite some time. Their debut full-length, Gorilla Manor, was first only released in the U.K. and hardly made a blip in the U.S., but their time spent in obscurity didn’t last very long.
Several U.S. radio stations and attentive listeners soon latched on to the group’s infectious melodies and impressive arrangements. Known for blending soaring harmony with a grooving, thick bass and drum underbelly, Local Natives blend their contemporary and historic influences together seamlessly.
Gorilla Manor is a dense, wide-open collection of undeniable pop tunes, and as we learned last year during SXSW, their live show is something wonderful to behold. “Wide Eyes”, “Airplanes” and “World News” have all been adored publicly since Frenchkiss released the album in the U.S., but their cover of the Talking Heads’ “Warning Sign” is perhaps the best example of how the group blends sound and influence together to create something that is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.
Comparisons to Fleet Foxes, Arcade Fire and Grizzly Bear always seem to circle Local Natives, but to chalk them up to a collection of comparisons is unfair, as they’re no doubt doing something special all their own. Seeing them do their thing on a big stage with all the bells and whistles at ACL will be special, so don’t skip their set for meat in a cone.
Written by Paige Maguire