By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
The album took on a different tone, however, after the death of Ayer's mother, whom he addresses on "Colombia" in a helpless whimper: "Patricia, every night I ask myself. Am I giving enough?"
Ayer was informed of her passing just after the band had finished recording a demo for the song, which still didn't have lyrics.
"I knew that when that happened I should try to channel that energy into that song, and I think it kind of helped me get through it," Ayer says. "Everything about that first album for us was having fun with a sound we could all agree on. With this one, we'd already done that, and it just made sense to get more personal."
The catchy, upbeat melodies from Gorilla Manor are sublimated on Hummingbird with cold drum machines and dense keyboard arrangements, immersing the listener in an experience that is considerably more profound than their debut album. In contrast to the vibrant melodies and sunny vocal inflection on Gorilla Manor, Hummingbird's sparse production sounds more like that of a winter album.
Of the recording experience in Brooklyn, Dessner points out that Local Natives were more prepared than The National have ever been. "I really appreciate the level of craftsmanship in the band," he says via email. "They work their asses off and really experiment heavily with where a song can go."
But after three months of recording on the East Coast, all of the members were ready to return to Silver Lake. When asked if they'd ever consider leaving Los Angeles, they laugh and shake their heads. "We're so tied in to Southern California that it wouldn't make sense to any of us," Ayer says. "The winter would come around and we'd die."