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Local Natives get bearings back after tough time

@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2013

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You won't find too many albums as markedly different in character as Local Natives' first two releases.

"Gorilla Manor," the Los Angeles quartet's debut, was a party. "We had just moved into a house together and the vibe was really positive and there was this brave new world," recalls frontman Kelcey Ayer. But in between albums Ayers mother died and the group parted ways with original bassist Andy Hamm, which made the tone of this year's "Hummingbird" "heavier and more serious."

" 'Hummingbird' was really hard to make," acknowledges Ayer, 27. "There were a lot of hard times to go through, and the record reflects that. I'm just happy we got out of the other side in one piece and came out with a record that feels therapeutic to us. It feels like we did what we needed to do, and now we can move on."

Local Natives are, according to Ayer, "in such a healthy place," and that's made its current tour -- even with the darker material from "Hummingbird" -- a decidedly upbeat affair. And it's a little flashier, too, he says.

"We've never really had production before," Ayer says. "This time we're bringing out our own lights so every show we can program it and make it as good as it can be. It feels like a higher level than we've ever been used to, and that made the vibe feel really good out here."

Local Natives and Wild Nothing perform Friday, Sept. 20, at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St. Door open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $24. Call 248-399-2980 or visit www.royaloakmusictheatre.com.

Web Site: www.royaloakmusictheatre.com

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