Local Natives Shine at SXSW; Earn Rave Reviews from BBC, RS, NME, NPR and More

Local Natives, originally from Orange County, rock SXSW
Local Natives, originally from Orange County, rock SXSW
Chad Cheverier

Local Natives crushed at South by Southwest, returning home to LA with massive momentum leading up to their April 18 Coachella date. The other OC/LBC acts that made appearances in Austin surely turned heads but nothing like Local Natives. The quintet had critics drooling.   

This blowing up stuff began last year at SXSW thanks to songs such as the brilliantly charming, love-sick single "Airplanes." Local Natives' debut full-length, Gorilla Manor, named after the Orange County house the band members formerly shared, came out in the U.S. Feb. 16 on Frenchkiss Records. The timing proved spot-on.  

After the jump: roundup of rave reviews from SXSW.

The NYC-based label is responsible for introducing the world to bands like the Hold Steady, the Dodos and Passion Pit. So, yeah, important publications knew better than to place Gorilla Manor in the pile of no return. And when they took a listen, well, it has basically been a love fest.

The snark merchants at Pitchfork praised Gorilla Manor with an attention-getting 8.4. Pretty much every other opining music review outlet has also gushed about the album, which, speaking of numbers, has a most impressive 78 Metascore. Adding to the SXSW buildup, the Austin Chronicle four-starred the record. "There's something in the floating harmonies of this incredible young L.A. band that will stop you in your tracks," reads the alt-weekly's lede.  

Local Natives arrived in Texas for a slew of high-profile official and totally hip non-official SXSW performances, the latter thrown by Pitchfork and Brooklyn Vegan, among others. Pundits knew to check the band out. And reports--running on both sides of the Atlantic--have poured in at Next-Big-Thing levels. 


Local Natives | MySpace Music Videos

  • "Local Natives, the only indie band that matters this year," reads the blog post headline from our sister paper the Houston Press. They ran another glowing review here
  • Rolling Stone: "Snaky grooves, spastic energy, excellent Talking Heads cover." RS has bigger write-up of Local Natives here, and, damn them, it says Gorilla Manner, the actual house, exists in LA. It's in OC! 
  • BBC: "Acclaimed Los Angeles quintet Local Natives have returned to the South By South West music conference for a second year running, proving themselves a hit with nine gigs across the four day bash."
  • NME: "Los Angeles five-piece Local Natives proved to be one of the highlights of the day, delivering a rousing late-night set to a packed house at Emo's."
  • NPR: "They played an impressive set of cuts from the album, nailing the four-part harmonies that are such an integral part of their sound."
  • A.V. Club: "Local Natives won me over with the Broken Social Scene undercurrents of 'Camera Talk.'"
  • Live Daily: "Though only five songs long, the set, which started off with 'Wide Eyes,' encapsulated the quintet's enthusiasm for their music, complete with intense drumming, escalating beats and vocals that rose just as significantly as the music."

So, yeah, Local Natives, they're doing their native Orange County proud--even if they left us for LA!

Full Disclosure: Local Natives drummer Matt Frazier is a former OC Weekly "design god."

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