The Bowery Ballroom
Local Natives

CMJ

Local Natives

SKATERS, San Cisco, Pacific Air, Solid Gold

Wed, October 17, 2012

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

The Bowery Ballroom

New York, NY

$17 advance / $20 day of show

Sold Out

This event is 18 and over

Local Natives
Local Natives
Refraction and Rebirth: The New Rise of Local Natives

Let’s think about our musical heroes for a second. How few of our favourite artists rose from a burst of brilliant light and then rode that one, simple wavelength across an entire career. Those who have truly built a lasting lot, one with arcs, evolution, and focus—the icons who hold up the mirror to nature and push themselves to grow and change and persevere, and who challenge us, the listeners and fans, to follow them on their glorious, circuitous paths—those are the heroes who will truly live forever.

In 2010, Local Natives galvanised a musical scene in Southern California, crafting a sound that they loved, and that others flocked to in turn, with the breakout success of their debut album, Gorilla Manor. The five-piece from Los Angeles featuring Taylor Rice, Kelcey Ayer, Ryan Hahn, Nik Ewing, and Matt Frazier have since created a series of different cathartic chapters informed by their constantly changing surroundings.

The band’s second album, 2013’s brooding and lovely Hummingbird, was born out of a period of darkness, a time spanning loss, grief and change. It was, as Rice calls it, an “existential nightmare” and a difficult writing process, but is remembered fondly by its authors as a beautiful and honest representation of who and where the band was at the time. After a multi-year tour that required the group to relive the dark introspection night after night within the explosive enthusiasm of their stage show, Local Natives were ready to transition into their next phase and to begin writing a new record with an entirely fresh perspective.

As the band began to grow, so too grew its lens, and suddenly the “indie rock” lens cap did not seem to fit any longer. These 30-year-old Los Angelenos had seen the world and heard its sounds, and knew, deep down, that there was more in them. And, as in the style and paths of those arcs of our heroes, when Local Natives filtered this whole new layer of influences through their spectrum, the result is an everywhere-you-turn showcase of vision and virtuosity and their grandest statement yet: their third album, Sunlit Youth.

“Coming out of Hummingbird, I think we took our time,” Rice says. “Part of that was to hit a reset, but also the whole process of this new album was very different. We made sure we were connecting to the joyfulness of making music and what inspired us, and we let that lead us. These songs have this outward effusiveness to them. We threw out our band rulebook and tried to push our dynamics and to think differently.”

The first step in this leap of faith was their songwriting process. As opposed to culling song ideas from jamming together as a group as in the past, the band’s core trio of songwriters Rice, Ayer, and Hahn each produced songs on their own more frequently than ever before, rendering each writer prolific and vastly increasing the number of songs brought to the group space. “That just made us so much more productive,” Rice says. “It was more fun and more free. We wrote fifty songs for this album. I think the record shows that it was chosen from a much larger batch of songs.”

“It took us a second to get used to the idea that no matter how much you slam your head against the wall, a song isn’t going to be great unless everything truly comes together,” Ayer says. “We just focused on the good ideas and knew what to chase. I think getting better at writing songs means knowing what to grab and what to throw away. It’s better to see potential. This record is definitely a testament for us that if you write fifty songs, you’re gonna get ten or twelve that you really love.”

The kick-start album-opener “Villainy” signifies the band’s unbridled new energy and huge ambitions. As Rice sings “I want to start again / sunset’s new babbling man,” electronic notes sputter and swirl, rising and setting as drums pound and keys light the path. It heralds more of a focus in that energy—something the band has had in spades since the beginning—than a change in direction, and the way it reaches beyond the rafters and straight into the sun points the way for the tracks to follow.

As Hahn says, “We’ve gotten older and gotten better at our instruments. There’s a confidence in that, and a confidence to be selfish. You start thinking, ‘What do I want to hear?’ Forget about what we’ve done and what people expect. This is a song that I would want to hear. Selfishly, within the band, if we like this, it doesn’t matter if anyone else does. ‘Villainy’ was born out of listening to sounds that I would have never listened to for Gorilla Manor. We just wanted all the new stuff to have a different energy, and to challenge ourselves to do something different each time.”

Across the album, the band does just that, delving into dancier, poppy moments on “Past Lives” and “Masters,” Fleetwood Mac-inspired dark pop on “Dark Days”, blue-eyed-soul stomp on “Coins,” and prospective anthems on “Fountain of Youth” and “Call Me On.” And while this is new ground for Local Natives to some degree, the sound never loses those qualities that made us fall in love with them in the first place, an accomplishment the band endears to simply following their desire to please themselves.

What has always been there for Local Natives is their meticulous crafting of musical elements while constantly pushing and pulling melody, harmony, and rhythmic components from within their construct and out into the cosmos. Their method lends to a dynamic beyond cerebral execution and into pure, unbridled emotional and energetic territory. As the hedges grow higher in our minds, the band has tapped into that which got the seeds planted in the first place, and the result is an empowering concept of eternal life embodying what Sunlit Youth is all about.

“The record is optimistic and does suggest this feeling that we—as individuals, as society—have the power to take life wherever we want. It’s exuberant and joyful but I think we have a self-awareness in this world now that you can’t have when you’re twenty years old and making your first record. We’re realising that there’s a cyclical nature to it all and there’s always a new perspective. I think it’s this optimistic vision of how the world works, and this album is about facing those realities. A concept like ‘Fountain of Youth’ isn’t an individual, selfish desire to live forever, it’s more the kind of regenerative way that the world is made over and over again. We can do our small part, even if you don’t know how it’s going to affect the change. That is what optimism and changing the world into what you want is. It’s a metaphor. We could connect each of these songs to that feeling of empowerment. ‘Sunlit Youth’ evokes that feeling. It feels like a nice wrapping-up of this trilogy of who we are: these Southern California kids who grew up feeling like the world was this endless possibility. We make music for a living. It’s the most insane thing that any of us would have imagined.”

Looking back upon their own youths yet constantly moving forward to the future, Local Natives have embraced their evolution and made what could be seen as the most Local Natives-sounding album of their young careers.

Sunlit Youth is out September 9 on Loma Vista Recordings
http://localnatives.com/
http://shorefire.com/client/local-natives
SKATERS
SKATERS
New York City quartet SKATERS' music, ethos, and attitude are remarkably entrenched in the late nights, eclectic characters, and punk roots of their hometown. That's why it's almost criminal that the group's birth can be traced to a crazy 24 hours in Los Angeles in the summer of 2011, when singer and songwriter Michael Ian Cummings met English guitarist Josh Hubbard at a party at a "really fancy-ass house," as Cummings recalls.

A few months later, the still band-less Cummings got a call from Hubbard announcing that he'd be arriving in NYC the following day from the U.K. Hubbard landed 24 hours later and crashed drummer Noah Rubin's birthday party. As Rubin and Hubbard got reacquainted, Rubin suggested Josh come to jam — and Hubbard flipped. "I'd just fucking flown 3,000 miles, I didn't want to fucking jam," he explains. He wanted a band. The Englishman threw down the gauntlet: He was in town for a month and a half and wanted the group to play a gig. So they hooked up with local bassist Dan Burke, booked three shows, learned the songs Cummings and Rubin had been tinkering with (and a handful of Pixies covers), and SKATERS arrived with a band.
San Cisco
San Cisco
San Cisco's storm came in much like a front approaching the port in their home town of Fremantle; swift and eerily beautiful. Initially whipped up in the wake of high school graduation, the foursome of Jordi, Josh, Scarlett, and Nick soon found themselves unwittingly defining hipster culture with the video for their breakout hit "Awkward."

Fast forward to 2015 where San Cisco enlisted the help of producer and long-term collaborator Steven Schram to deliver their sophomore album Gracetown which debuted at #2 on the ARIA charts. The album showcased a new sound for the band -- more worldly approach to life; exploring the tyranny of love, displacement, homesickness, heartache and heartbreak, via disco, funk, soul and hip hop undertones.

Extensive touring to eager audiences around the world took up the majority of 2015 and early 2016, playing festivals at home and headline tours from Maitland to Mexico. The remainder of the year was some down time and pulling together new song ideas, earwormy hooks and catchy choruses.

Now it's time to unleash the third sophomore album, The Water onto the world. A taste of the album was served up with single "SloMo" and a bonus B Side (aptly named "B Side") hitting the airwaves late last year. With more hits to come, The Water is as diverse in its sound as it is in subject matters.

The Water will be available to purchase globally in late April 2017 from iTunes.
Pacific Air
Pacific Air
The origin of Pacific Air is not your typical band of brothers story. Yes, they are two brothers who also happen to be in a band but without a destination, Ryan (24) and Taylor (20) were perpetually on the move. Relocating twice a year along the West Coast until finally settling in Southern California when Ryan was 16, the Lawhons have the luxury of never experiencing winter, just eternal sunshine.

When they were young, the precocious siblings took an early interest in their mother’s record collection. Growing up on Ray Lynch, Laurie Anderson, and Enya, the Lawhons were undoubtedly influenced by the nurturing groove of ‘90s new age. However, they also possess an uncaged childlike aura akin to more contemporary auteurs like Andrew Bird, Michael Angelakos, and Trevor Powers. Taylor pinpoints their sound as “peaceful yet energetic”, a visceral dichotomy that bridges decades of music therapy.

First they were KO KO, named after a dream boat the brothers were eyeing, much like in the OC when Seth names his boat after his dream girl, Summer. They never got KO KO, the boat or the hot drink, but instead they became KO KO, the band. Although they had to eventually change their name to Pacific Air for legal reasons, it came to embody their inspiring, youthful persona. Despite his attachment to the name KO KO, Ryan admits, “Pacific Air further displays not just where we are, but who we are right now."
Solid Gold
Solid Gold
"A slinky, sexy, sophisticated mix of indie, electro and soul; like if the Purple One fronted Death Cab For Cutie." - MTV Buzzworthy
"This totally, TOTALLY addictive piece of laid-back, twinkling Minneapolis funkiness, has us mercilessly hooked." - NME
Venue Information:
The Bowery Ballroom
6 Delancey St
New York, NY, 10002
http://www.boweryballroom.com/