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Local Natives: But I’ll Wait For You

Pitchfork describes Local Natives’ 2016 Sunlit Youth as “fashionably yearning,” which is just about the perfect phrase to describe most of their discography. But I’ll Wait For You has a mellow, organic flow like swimming through a lazy river at night.


“You know we can run in place / Oh, all our lives,” the boys sing. “And the windshield wipers sway in time / With an old song from another life.”


You might expect more anger or conviction from a song like “Throw It In The Fire,” especially since the lyrics reference oblivion and burning “it” until nothing is left. But, like on the rest of the album, the beat is gentle. Any one of the songs could (and probably will) be featured on an unobtrusive coffee shop playlist. It’s a soothing, barista-friendly option without the bite of their 2010 debut, Gorilla Manor


“Camera Shy” is a sexier, lusher track. While it shares a too-cool-for-school, California chill mood with its siblings, it’s more lyrically precocious. “Demolition eyes” is a shivering indictment for a lover—but also, somehow, a super-seductive compliment.


The other standout is “April,” which has the most fun, funky beat on the record. It wouldn’t be out of place during a dark, glittering night at the club. Of course, the bass would nearly burst your eardrums, but that’s an inherent risk when clubbing.


Though “Ending Credits” has fittingly cinematic lyrics, there’s a lack of experimentation with sound. “Credits roll and the lights come up / Cut to us in the parking lot / Her eyes say that she’s moving on” should be gut-wrenching, but it’s not. There’s no rolling film or the snap of popcorn. There’s no worldbuilding. The narrative isn’t expansive enough to come alive and exist outside of its three minutes and nine seconds.


The titular track serves as the finale, and it has the most emotional depth. However, it’s not a raw, bleeding heart suddenly set before the listener but a polished continuation of a now-familiar sound. It has potential, especially with how the vocals begin to soar two minutes in. Maybe listeners will find it more stirring when it’s performed live. Until then, the effect is not-quite-haunting.

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