"We've come to find that, more than a lot of bands, we're really collaborative.", explains Local Natives
' Ryan Hahn
. "It's almost a very democratic process. We throw ideas around the room, and everyone puts their say in. We really like the fact that [everyone's happy] with every song we write because everyone's put their influence and their touch on the song".
Recollecting my conversation with Hahn and fellow band mate Andy
Hamm in front of the Bowery Ballroom last May, the quote reads like an incredibly revealing explanation as to why Local Natives are such an exceptional new band on the scene. At the time the band's talents in the live setting were a mystery to me...though a galvanizing debut in Gorilla Manor
certainly suggested something special would be in the works when the two Southern California based musicians, along with Taylor Rice
, Kelcey Ayer
, and Matt Frazier
, brought the record to two sold out performances at the iconic venue on the corner of Bowery and Delancey.
In the exclusive concert performance video we captured on the first night of the band's stint in NYC, the synergetic spirit that binds the band together is evident enough. Clearly, this is not a tribe who are comfortable with their work merely being good enough. Self confessed "control freaks", the band and their music is the result of a communal creative process. Watching their interpretation of the Talking Heads' "Warning Sign", it's no great stretch to envision the band spending whole evenings working through single vocal passages. The rhythmic pounce of " Wide Eyes" offers a picture of the band studiously aligning cut and paste, percussive contributions so that each hit can synch with one another. And "Sun Hands" speaks to the band's efforts in holding back during one moment, so that another one can ultimately be that much more explosive. Dramatic, endearing, energetic, and impressive: we know you're going to love what is one of the most exciting bands we have ever had the pleasure to capture. - David Pitz
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Local Natives: Live at the Bowery Ballroom