It’s been three years since Local Natives last album, and upon hearing the ridiculously catchy pre-released singles from the newest release, I had high hopes for Violet Street. Safe to say, it did not disappoint.
It certainly gets off to a slow start with the opening track, ‘Vogue’. While the orchestral elements and calm melodies are pleasant, there is an unshakeable sense of monotony which does not appear to possess much depth, nor enthuse the listener for the music to follow. But the effortless, almost unnoticeable transition from this to the much more upbeat ‘When Am I Gonna Lose You’ is when the presence of the calmer tracks fall into place; they break the singles up in a way that allows the album to flow from track to track so flawlessly that it could almost work as one long song. It is clear that the five-piece have been inspired by a plethora of styles and genres, as every track has a slightly different vibe. The mellower tracks break up this impressive array of styles, allowing a chilled tune like ‘Someday Now’ to evolve into the significantly heavier guitar riffs of ‘Shy’.
The smoother tracks later on in the album are lovely, with gorgeous, rich production and harmonies to die for, but it is the upbeat singles that steal the show. Despite tackling difficult issues of fear and insecurity, these tracks, particularly ‘Megaton Mile’ and ‘When Am I Gonna Lose You’, boast punchy, fun and accessible rhythms and melodies that you won’t get out of your head or your heavy rotation for weeks.
One could say it is a very stereotypical soft indie-rock style, but that is not necessarily a negative. At a point where the indie genre is so broad and bands are becoming increasingly experimental and electronic-influenced, a simple soft-rock style teamed with addictive melodies feels somewhat refreshing. Violet Street is eclectic and fluid, with a little something for everyone. It is definitely not one to be ignored.