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Violet Street

Local Natives 4/26/2019


With their fourth album, 2019's effusive Violet Street, Local Natives strike a pleasing balance between the promise of their kinetic debut and the atmospheric explorations of their subsequent follow-ups. Produced by longtime studio associate Shawn Everett, who has also contributed to albums by Weezer, Lucius, and the War on Drugs, among others, Violet Street is a strong album that feels more connected to 2009's Gorilla Manor than either 2013's Hummingbird or 2016's synthy Sunlit Youth. Still showcasing the yearning, falsetto-rich vocals of Taylor Rice, along with keyboardist/vocalist Kelcey Ayer, guitarist/vocalist Ryan Hahn, drummer/vocalist Matt Frazier, and bassist/vocalist Nik Ewing, Local Natives have grown into an ensemble that favors nuanced melodies and a textural group aesthetic over slick, commercially driven hits. There's an undercurrent of experimental dance pop here, as on "Someday Now," "Gulf Shores," and "Shy," which frame Rice's warm vocal melodies in spiraling percussion grooves, sweeping orchestral synths, and sundry guitar lines. Despite the group's experimental inclinations, there are still plenty of hooky moments here. "Cafe Amarillo" brings to mind a fertile combination of '90s Wallflowers and '70s Boz Scaggs. Equally catchy, "Megaton Mile" sounds like something Fleetwood Mac might have come up with if they'd been obsessed with Gang of Four. Elsewhere, the band evokes the soulful pop dizziness of Jeff Buckley on the midtempo "When Am I Gonna Lose You" and on the piano-driven ballad "Vogue." These influences imbue Violet Street with a new level of sophistication -- one that makes good on all that early promise. ~ Matt Collar
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Vogue Local Natives 2:48
  3. 2 When Am I Gonna Lose You Local Natives 4:24
  4. 3 Café Amarillo Local Natives 4:24
  5. 4 Munich II Local Natives 0:47
  6. 5 Megaton Mile Local Natives 4:27
  7. 6 Someday Now Local Natives 5:5
  8. 7 Shy Local Natives 4:31
  9. 8 Garden of Elysian Local Natives 4:37
  10. 9 Gulf Shores Local Natives 4:57
  11. 10 Tap Dancer Local Natives 4:20

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