But I'll Wait For You by Local Natives album review by Tuhin Chakrabarti for Northern Transmissions


But I'll Wait For You

Local Natives

Local Natives unveils their sixth studio effort, an earnest but middling stumble through the indie rock hall of fame. “But I’ll Wait for You,” is like any master’s work: big and undeniable, but maybe too technical and restrained to build enough friction. In this latest offering, the band presents this decade-refined sound, drenched in a melodic haze reminiscent of the early 2010s indie landscape. To listener surprise, the album feels undependable — a wistful glance to a bygone era whose incoherent musings we’ve interrupted.

The shimmering, folksy guitar on “Alpharetta,” sheepishly invites you to share in its longing. With its ephemeral, romantic lyrics, it all feels an ode to the indie rock of the 2010s tumblr era. Yet, beneath the surface, there lies a hesitancy and a lack of self awareness. Too anxious and hurried for the hazy, indie folk it seems to imitate, yet still out of step with the pop it reminds you of. Tracks like this flounder throughout, with lackluster intros, and excessive moderation, failing to captivate with the same fervor as their preceding performances.

After two milquetoast slow-dances, “Camera Shy” emerges with some electricity as a beacon of hope. Here, Local Natives deftly navigates themes of vulnerability and uncertainty, painting a vivid picture of feeling out of touch within a declining, once-promised future: “Swerving slowly through an empire in decline / Paratroopers pull their chutes and gently glide / Floating down to where they’re never quite sure,” showcasing a rare moment of self-awareness.

“April” then erupts as the album’s most confident and arresting moment. As the chorus hits, a gritting distorted guitar part commands attention, adding a raw and visceral edge to the song’s already captivating melody. Through its dynamic shifts and impassioned delivery, “April” echoes the gusto and vitality that Local Natives — the 2010s indie scene as a whole — once embodied, reminding listeners of the band’s ability to craft immersive and emotionally resonant indie rock.

Rather comfortable and well-seated within the confines of their genre, much of the album revels in middling harmonies and restrained performances, exuding a quiet confidence. Despite its familiarity, it manages to captivate with its instrumental performances, providing just enough variation to keep listeners engaged without veering too far off course.

“But I’ll Wait for You” is somewhat of a hiccup, filled with moments of brilliance obscured by reluctance. While tracks like “Camera Shy” hint at what could have been the album as a whole struggles to find its footing, leaving listeners yearning for a more cohesive and self-aware offering from Local Natives.

Order But I’ll Wait For You by Local Natives HERE


Looking for something new to listen to?

Sign up to our all-new newsletter for top-notch reviews, news, videos and playlists.