Verdict: 3 / 5
Local Natives debut album Gorilla Manor, released in 2009 set the hype train in motion for many in the indie music scene, and set a great stage for fans who hoped to see what the California-based band could produce next. What they eventually gave us just over three years later was an album with greater lyrical intensity; but music that hadn’t especially evolved in any further direction.
Hummingbird feels like a very genuine album. This is in the sense that the emotions described within its various tracks feel honest and believable; although somewhat over-angsty at times.
Nevertheless, the band feels fully committed to sharing themselves entirely with the audience, rather than leave any secrets at the door; and that kind of openness can be a breath of fresh air in its own way. However; despite the fact that the tracks range in emotional tone from depressed to upbeat; none of them feel especially dramatic. What I mean by this is that if the album is played in the background, it can often feel as though one track just sort of lists lazily into the next; none of the tracks are distinct in such a way that you go “Oh boy; it’s this one now; and that one next!”
Hummingbird would have an appeal to fans of this style of music; and is not a bad album by any means. However; it does carry the feeling of often being generically “indie” in design; and does not offer much to make it a memorable album to re-listen too years from now.