A full ten years on from their debut, Local Natives have never been shy of committing to a theme. If ‘Hummingbird’ was a dedication to loss and ‘Sunlit Youth’ a mediation on politics, then ‘Violet Street’ is an album about heart, albeit one battling with the mind’s tendency to wonder exactly when things are all going to go wrong. ‘When Will I Lose You’ is the centrepiece, a remarkably poppy and hummable number for a lyric so embedded in fear, but then, that has always been Local Natives’ best talent - setting harsh realities against lush melodies, recognising ruin but enjoying the good nonetheless.
This time though, there seems even more at stake. With a notable energy that recalls their debut, the ‘all in one room’ technique of the album’s recording pays off in spades. ’Shy’ is anything but with it’s pacing, industrial percussion, while ‘Tap Dance’ makes for a lovely closer, sweet, slow harmonies and nostalgic lyrics that build ladders towards the great stadium in the sky, guitars threatening to hurtle right into the ground but pulling up right at the last minute. For those who tend to see the glass half empty, it can be difficult to enjoy even the purest of happiness, but with ‘Violet Street’, Local Natives deliver a tale of affection deeply rooted in the realism of love, not just in romance but in life.