So, unfortunately I was unable to figure out how the internet works so I do not have music on the page. YET. I will prevail. On another note, I’m going to a concert this Friday, so I figured I’d choose an album by Local Natives, the band I will be seeing.
Album: Hummingbird Artist: Local Natives
If I had to pick one word to describe Hummingbird, I would pick subdued. But not in a bad way. I know sometimes that word carries a negative connotation, but that isn’t how I mean it in this context. Hummingbird is the album you listen to to cope with uncertainty – because that’s what it’s about.
I first heard about Local Natives from a friend of mine. She said that they would be playing for something like $25 downtown and I was all over it. And that was when I realized that I had in fact heard of them from some of my favorite Pandora stations. As my exposure to them is still relatively fresh, I did some googling (note: I love that this is a verb) to put this album in context for me.
Around the time this album was created, the band’s bassist Andy Hamm had just departed and, to top it off, guitarist/vocalist Kelcey Ayer had just lost his mother. With that in mind the lyrics kind of gain a new perspective.
It’s easy to look past the words with this album, at least, for me. It’s effortless to just float on with the easy melodies and rich harmonies. With the depth of the album, getting lost in Local Natives is like getting lost in the sky. But the album is a little bluer than that. Lyrics like “the closer I get, the further I have to go” and “after everything/left in the sun, shivering” remind the listener of what the artists were feeling. It’s like they took part of these uncertain feelings of abandonment and channeled them to their audience, and if you listen – really listen – you can feel it too.
Hummingbird starts with “You and I,” an easy song with a mournful tone that the artist uses to question the closeness of everyone around him. It’s a song about gradual separation, and the theme carries. In “Heavy Feet” that feeling of separation is apparent, and culminates in what feels like regret with “Ceilings.” And in “Columbia”, Ayer’s mourning is clear as he sings “If you never knew how much/if you never felt all of my love/I pray now you do.”
Hummingbird is a thoughtful album that deals with an uncomfortable topic, but somehow makes it okay. Hummingbird is an album that lets it’s listeners know that sometimes you just need to have those feelings, and that there isn’t anything wrong with that.
If I have time and/or feel inspired to on Saturday, I might share a little about the concert. As always, comments and suggestions are welcome! Until next week (or Saturday), keep listening!
Honorable Song Mentions: You and I, Heavy Feet, Ceilings, Breakers, Columbia, and Wide Eyes (totally not even on this album but you should listen to it anyway)