On this, their fifth album, Local Natives, embraces growing older, fatherhood and the passing of time with reverence and belief. Having spent over fourteen years together as a band, the Californian sun-kissed indie rockers focus on themselves throughout their new record.
Ageing is a strange phenomenon. No one wants to do it, yet it happens to us all. Waving goodbye to your (sunlit) youth, especially if you’re in a band, isn’t always easy. Yet it seems, through the medium of wonderful music, Local Natives have a handle on it and then some.
The harmonies flood in beautifully straight away on the opening title track; it’s a short burst of almost a-cappella-like gorgeousness before what can only be described as A1 classic Local Natives in ‘Just Before The Morning’ the switch between vocals from Taylor and Kelcey always shines. Here they sound brighter and stronger than ever.
‘Empty Mansions’ has that indie-dance element that the band are known for, which grooves along with the vocals joyfully. The song leaves images of driving down the Sunset Strip with the top down, sunglasses on. ‘Desert Snow’ falls through the cracks of getting older and wiser and has a killer guitar hook that holds the song together, pushing it forward whilst looking back.
The album contains solid hooks and lyrics that avoid being saturated or cliche. ‘Paper Lanterns’ sounds like Phoenix, and ‘Featherweight’ glides along with head-bopping approval; the production of this song and the record in full is an absolute triumph.
I’ve mentioned the sun a few times during this review already, and along comes ‘Hourglass’ to do the same “And the sun is out / and I’m on my way”, chimes the chorus as the track builds, drawing lines in the sand marking moments in our lives inside an hourglass.
‘Ava’ is a soul-searching love in a forlorn state song “, How do I reach you on the beach in your tennis shoes?” Local Natives are incredibly descriptive in everything they do, and here we see them at their absolute peak.
The final two songs are a prime example of what the band are so wonderful at. ‘NYE’ with its flashes of dance floor wonderment and joy whilst ‘Paradise’ is hauntingly beautiful, a song about suffering incredible loss and heartbreak. Yet, we still hear optimism, and as the record ends, you’re left wanting more.
For an album that almost didn’t get recorded, Time Waits For No One has brought Local Natives together tighter than ever. They’ve not only survived, but they’ve evolved as a group. Having seen each other through the worst of times, they are ready to have their days in the sun.