Local Natives, Sunlit Youth

Sunlit Youth is the third album from American indie rock band Local Natives.

Jane Howkins

Sunlit Youth is the latest album by American electro indie pop group Local Natives, as the follow-up to their introspective 2013 release, Hummingbird. There’s a lot of doom and gloom in the world at the moment, however Local Natives have managed to create an interesting aura of hope and optimism, with their latest release being a positive look to the future.

Hummingbird was rather negative in outlook, but Sunlit Youth is a lot less depressing, which is refreshing in current times. That isn’t the only change on the album either. Since their 2009 début release Gorilla Manor, the music that the group has produced has changed, and for the better. Gorilla Manor wasn’t bad, but compared to what they are creating now, it seems less mature and almost crude in some ways. In terms of both music and lyrical content, Local Natives have matured, in the best way possible. Fountain Of Youth is certainly energetic, and is definitely a stand-out track, with vocalist and guitarist Taylor Rice ecstatically chanting the words “We can say whatever we want! We can say whatever we need!”, indicating the promise that the band hold for the future – especially in the youth of today.

It’s also important to note that Sunlit Youth contains a few more electronic sounds than previous efforts have, but this is not overdone, and it generally seems to work. Jellyfish is one such song, with a dreamlike feel created from the electro elements added in here, making the track an interesting deviation from some of the other songs on the album. The vocal stylings of the group are also highly prevalent here, with both lead vocalists (the aforementioned Taylor Rice and fellow bandmate Kelcey Ayer) creating interesting vocal and lyrical ideas on Everything All At Once.

   Overall then, Sunlit Youth is a near perfect album for the indie group, improving and improvising upon a formula they have successfully honed over the past seven years.