730 North Mill Avenue
Tempe, AZ, 85281-1204
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Local Natives make soaring, sky-scraping harmonies, dreamy orchestral melodies, and throbbing tribal beats that bash their way into your soul. Theirs are songs you can dance to almost as well as you can swoon to them. Drawing a line from the vocal stylings of Crosby Stills Nash & Young and the Zombies through the more esoteric edges of post-punk and Afro-beat, this California five piece have communally crafted a brand of indie rock all their own.
For Local Natives everything is a collaboration, from song writing duties to the band's self produced artwork. The three part harmonies come courtesy of keyboardist Kelcey Ayer, guitarists Ryan Hahn and Taylor Rice. Then there's Matt Frazier on drums and Andy Hamm on bass, who look after the band's equally impressive graphics and artwork.
One of SXSW 2009's biggest success stories, the band drove for two days to get from Los Angeles to Austin in order to play nine spectacular shows that saw them sprinting, instruments in hand, from one gig to the next. Their hectic schedule paid off as Local Natives left Austin with the attention of the UK music Industry.
Based in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles, three of the five-piece originally hail from Orange County. Kelcey, Ryan and Taylor attended neighbouring high schools and hooked up with bassist Andy a year after they graduated, later meeting drummer Matt. They've been playing – and evolving - together for three years. Last year, however, the band realized that the new songs they were writing were the sounds of a new project entirely.
It was in December 2008 that the band decamped to Silver Lake, where they all live in the same house. But the Silver Lake digs isn't the first house the band have shared. They lived together in Orange County too, in a place affectionately known as Gorilla Manor. "It was insanely messy and there were always friends over knocking around on guitars or our thrift store piano," says Ryan, "it was an incredible experience and I'll never forget that time." The original Gorilla Manor, where the band wrote the majority of their record, had such an impact that the band has paid tribute to the house by naming their debut album in its honour.
The self-funded 'Gorilla Manor' was recorded by Raymond Richards in West Los Angeles. Chosen because he was "super talented and super affordable," Richards co-produced the record with Local Natives in his own Red Rockets Glare studio.
Featuring twelve sumptuous slices of dappled California sunlight and beguiling percussive rhythms, the album kicks off with the moody, driving, 'Wide Eyes'. Says Ryan, "It's about people's obsession with the miraculous and disastrous…with witnessing extraordinary events". The effervescent, mandolin boasting 'Airplanes' follows, which Kelcey explains is about "longing to have met my grandfather, a great man and pilot, who died before I was born." Also included is the glorious 'Sun Hands', which was released as a limited edition single on Chess Club back in July. According to Taylor, the lyrics describe "that all too familiar feeling of wanting what you can't have – especially when you once had it." There's a cover version in the mix too, a barely recognisable version of Talking Heads' 'Warning Sign'. "We've basically flipped the song on its head," says Matt, explaining how they switched David Byrne's original yelped vocals into a beautiful three-part harmony.
Local Natives' debut album 'Gorilla Manor' comes out on November 2nd in the UK through Infectious Music.
Nocturne is the follow up release to Wild Nothing’s critically acclaimed debut ‘Gemini’.
Ask Jack Tatum what ‘Wild Nothing’ means and he’ll answer: ‘a contradiction’. In 2010, 21 year old Tatum released one of the finest cult pop records of the summer whilst ensconced in his senior year of college in Blacksburg, VA, a small mid-atlantic town better known for producing football fans and engineers than musicians. Tatum lives in contradictions. You’ll often hear Wild Nothing referred to as a ‘one man pop band’. Jack creates in the studio, alone. On the road, he’s with a band. There are two Wild Nothings.
The critically acclaimed debut ‘Gemini’ was underpinned with summery childhood longings, and shot through with the instant dichotomy of anxiety and almost whimsical paranoia. The album, which was home recorded by Tatum and rooted heavily in 80’s indie-pop, quickly gained popularity throughout the internet. Tatum assembled a band of Virginia friends and hit the road for the first time. ‘Gemini’ showed a promising future for a songwriter who wore his influences on his sleeve while still approaching pop craftsmanship in his own way. When asked about it in regards to ‘Nocturne’, Jack states:
I don’t think it’s going to be a secret to anyone that I care about pop music, but it’s definitely more my sense of what pop music used to be or even what pop music would be in my ideal world.
The new album ‘Nocturne’, is a window into Tatum’s “ideal world” of pop music. Written largely while living in Savannah, GA during 2011, the songs that became ‘Nocturne’ speak to a new Wild Nothing where the lines between Jack’s influences and personality have been further blurred. The album features some open references to past music just as ‘Gemini’ did, but it’s also an album that feels much less rooted in anything in particular and, well, more adult.
‘Gemini’ was written before there were Wild Nothing fans or even a live band; ‘Nocturne’ is different. With an unexpected fan base to turn to, Jack spent more time perfecting his craft. The obsessiveness of ‘Nocturne’ is inherent in it’s gentle harmonies, orchestrated synths, wandering voice, and songs that speak of his post-Gemini experiences as he explores new paradoxes of pop.
And yet Nocturne’ isn’t obvious, it is a strange and distinctive musical beast, the product of an obsessive pop vision that creates its own reality.