Best 2010 Artist – Local Natives

Local Natives' debut album Gorilla Manor.

When a band’s music is described as “afropop-influenced guitars with hyperactive drumming and hooky three-part harmonies”, it’s hard not to sit up and take notice. The unorthodox mélange can do one of two things. Either it could fail completely, or produce one of the best and most memorable albums I’ve ever come across. I’m happy to say that Local Natives’ 2010 debut Gorilla Manor has to be my favorite of the year, and will likely stay on my list of favorite albums of all time.

The bands hails from one of the most commercialized and cliché places in America, Los Angeles, but still manages to create a new brand of indie rock amidst the contrived. Gorilla Manor was released on February 2 on Frenchkiss Records, and has received great critical acclaim following.

Choosing favorite songs in this context is like pulling teeth. The album flows perfectly from the opening song “Wide Eyes” all the way to the closer “Sticky Thread,” and every song in between showcases the inherent talent of the band members and the way they mesh perfectly together. Standout songs on the album are “Sun Hands,” “Shape Shifter,” and “Airplanes.”

Had I the time and influence to make everyone around me listen to this amazing album, I would in a heartbeat. But for now, I can hope that by some serendipitous means we all each come across it, and get to experience Gorilla Manor in all of its beauty.