Gorilla Manor, the 2009 debut from LA four-piece Local Natives, earned them plenty of comparisons to Fleet Foxes. The follow-up, recorded in New York with the National's Aaron Dessner, finds them on similar ground, opener You & I setting the tone, all unhurried melancholia topped by Kelcey Ayer's soaring vocal. Elsewhere, they show they're equally adept at the euphoria in which Arcade Fire deal, with the sumptuous Breakers and Black Balloons. The standout track, however, is Colombia. Written after the death of Ayer's mother in 2011, it's stark, stately and haunting, with emotionally raw lyrics and echoes of Radiohead's recent work. Praise indeed.
Phil Mongredien works on the Guardian's opinion desk. He also reviews albums for Q magazine