20 Market Place
Baltimore, MD, 21202
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
Los Angeles’ Local Natives released their sophomore album, entitled Hummingbird, on Frenchkiss Records/Infectious Music in January 2013.
Much has happened between the band’s critically-acclaimed album Gorilla Manor and the imminent release of Hummingbird. From rave reviews to brilliant television performances, Gorilla Manor launched the band onto the global stage, saw them headlining theaters throughout America and Europe, opening for bands like Arcade Fire and The National, and winning them lauded slots at major festivals around the world.
Upon their return home from the road, the band built out a rehearsal space and studio in an abandoned bungalow in Silverlake, allowing them to write and experiment extensively with new sounds and arrangements. Keeping their uniquely collaborative process intact, this ultimately led to the band utilizing new instruments and songwriting approaches, challenging themselves to grow from the comfort space of their established aesthetic.
The band says Hummingbird was created from the emotional framework of being stretched between two opposite poles. In the two years following Gorilla Manor’s release, the band saw the highest highs and the lowest lows they had ever experienced together. While many of their wildest musical ambitions were coming to fruition, personal relationships faltered or fell apart, and a close family member suddenly passed away. The songs on Hummingbird embody that similar dichotomy – they are fragile and powerful, opulent and spare, tense and poised. When it came time to properly set these songs to tape, the band did their initial tracking in Montreal, and then decamped to Brooklyn, enlisting as co-producer The National’s Aaron Dessner, whom they had recently befriended while touring together. It was the first time they had ever recorded outside their native California, and relocating became the physical manifestation of working beyond what was familiar for them.
Shining opener “You & I” is the album’s calling card, bathing synthetic drums in warm organs and surfy guitars, and the band’s signature sky-high harmonies. “Heavy Feet” marries hand claps and sparse chords with a driving snare and one of the most remarkable choruses on the album, while “Ceilings” sounds like Fleetwood Mac with a dub bass groove. “Colombia,” written for a member’s mother who passed away unexpectedly last year, is the album’s swollen heart moment, a love letter from a son to a parent which grows in beautiful, orchestral complexity around a simple, plaintive chorus. Like all of Hummingbird, the song carries with it not just a melodic richness, but a quality of catharsis and grace – a moment to be examined and ultimately enjoyed.
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.
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