Local Natives: Lost Love In A Lighthearted Romp

Local Natives i

Local Natives' "Airplanes" quickly unfolds as a jaunty wonder, as it hurtles along with something resembling school spirit. courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of the artist
Local Natives

Local Natives' "Airplanes" quickly unfolds as a jaunty wonder, as it hurtles along with something resembling school spirit.

courtesy of the artist

Thursday's Pick

  • Artist: Local Natives
  • Song: "Airplanes"
  • CD: Gorilla Manor
  • Genre: Folk-Rock

Every weekday from March 8 to March 19, Song of the Day will showcase a track by an artist playing the South by Southwest music festival. For NPR Music's full coverage of SXSW — complete with full-length concerts, studio sessions, blogs, Twitter feeds, video and more — click here. And don't miss our continuous six-and-a-half-hour playlist, The Austin 100, which features much more of the best music the festival has to offer.

If Local Natives' "Airplanes" existed only as a lyric sheet, it would unfold as a wispy dirge: A man begs for his lost love's return when he's not staring at her picture or clinging to souvenirs that remind him of her. Even the ornamentation — piano, strings, densely arranged vocal harmonies — signifies a work of stony seriousness.

But "Airplanes" takes about four seconds to announce itself as the lighthearted romp it is; that's about how long it takes for the band to start booing its own piano player. As if reminding itself to perk up, "Airplanes" quickly self-corrects into a jaunty wonder, as its pleading chorus ("I want you back") hurtles along with something resembling school spirit. It's hard not to bounce along with its infectious zing, even as the desires it expresses remain unrequited.

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Gorilla Manor

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Album
Gorilla Manor
Artist
Local Natives
Label
Frenchkiss Records
Released
2010

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