Heart-on-sleeve guitar slingers Local Natives recently returned with new single Breakers, a swirling cut carrying a wall of sound intensity – which hinted at interesting new pastures for the band. Their second album ‘Hummingbird’ drops in the Spring, but in the mean time here’s an exclusive listen to a remix of Breakers.
New York beat-maker J£ZUS MILLION has gone to town on the track, extracting its sweet-but-sorrowful vocal and dropping a hissy hip hop instrumental underneath it. It offers an entirely new angle on its source material, and as far as remixes go, that’s not really something you can argue with. Stream the remix below, and read our Q&A with Taylor Rice from the band.
Hi Taylor, what have you been up to lately?
We just finished a tour in Europe. It was a promo tour of lots of tiny venues to play the new album. It’s been helpful for us to figure out how the new songs breathe live.
Your new single Breakers feels immediately denser and deeper in tone than your first album. Is it a good introduction to ‘Hummingbird’ in that way?
We actually felt that Breakers was a good choice because it served as a bridge between Hummingbird and the old album. This album is a definitive step for us, but it sort of goes in both directions. There is a lot more space on this record, and the most bare moments that we’ve made, but there is also more layered, orchestrated sections as well. Breakers probably has about half the instruments a couple of the other songs have on them.
‘Hummingbird’ was produced by Aaron Dessner from The National. What did the experience of working with Aaron bring to your music?
Working with Aaron was very natural since he is first and foremost a songwriter and a guy in a band. We met touring together. He was very low key and didn’t bring any of the baggage we were worried a “producer” would carry. His band writes much more in the studio than we do, which has led him to keep an air of openness and spontaneity. There were times he’d hit record and I wouldn’t know what to play. “That’s the point, ready, go.”
We’re really digging this J£ZUS MILLION remix of Breakers – it totally transforms the track. Could you tell us a bit about how that came together?
He’s apparently a fan of the band and this remix sort of just showed up on the doorstep!
Do you have a musical highlight of 2012?
Playing ATP fest last week in England. It was curated by the National, and we had tons of friends out there. I got to see amazing music all weekend from Wild Beasts, Kurt Vile, Richard Reed Parry, Sharon Van Etten, and Owen Pallett. Got to play soccer all weekend too which I’ve never done at a festival. My favorite record of this year though is Channel ORANGE, Frank Ocean.